California Moves to End Rape Kit Backlog

TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT When someone is raped and wants the perpetrator caught and prosecuted, it’s essential that the victim provide forensic evidence of the assault to law enforcement. A “rape kit” is the collection of biological evidence that can lead to an identification of the perpetrator’s DNA. But tragically, rape kits are […]

Congress Moves Forward on Rape-Kit Funding

The U.S. Senate subcommittee on commerce, justice, science and related agencies showed its support this week for combating the backlog of untested rape kits by including $41 million in its 2015 fiscal year spending bill as part of a community-based sexual assault response reform initiative. This announcement comes on the heels of an earlier House […]

100 Serial Rapists Have Been ID’d in Detroit

Five years ago, 11,000 untested rape kits were discovered in a police storage facility in Detroit. So far, just 1,600 kits have been tested, but that small number has yielded startling results: 100 serial rapists have been identified, and the DNA of 10 since-convicted rapists has been found. So what do these findings mean? Of […]

DNA Evidence CAN Stop Serial Rapists

It was an ordinary day in October, 2002. Julie Weil and her infant son were picking up Julie’s daughter, three-year-old Emily, from her Florida preschool at  noon. As Julie buckled her daughter into her car seat, she felt a sudden blow to the head. That day, Julie was raped four times in front of her […]

Fighting for Justice on Campus

Most of us don’t need to be told that anal rape counts as rape. But the FBI does. Anal rape is one of the many forms of rape that go uncounted under its narrow definition of “forcible” rape: “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” Today, a Ms. reader shares her […]