Michelle Bowdler’s new book “Is Rape a Crime?” investigates why the justice system so often fails to treat rape as a crime.
“The hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits existed because hundreds of thousands of individual victims agreed to submit to an exam consisting of head and pubic hair combing; vaginal, anal, and oral swabbing; retrieval of saliva, blood, and fingernail clippings—evidence taken carefully under the bright light of an emergency room by strangers following a violation that defines vulnerability. The victims endured this examination for a reason; they wanted justice. Instead, their bodies and the evidence taken from them were treated like useless trash.”
“Referring to hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits as a ‘backlog’ of evidence is a misnomer if there was never intent to test them in the first place.”