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Mandate a statewide audit of untested kits
Establish statewide policies on rape kit testing requirements
Create a plan to address the backlog of untested kits
The Rape Kit Action Project (RKAP) formed in 2013. We are leaders in the field, jointly committed to making a difference so that victims receive justice and rapists are held accountable. We offer policymakers:
Combined, RKAP Steering Committee members have more than 50 years’ experience in victim advocacy and public policy. From legislative drafting and advocacy to harnessing and leveraging grassroots and media sources, we’ve got you covered
We’re experts in the field of forensic DNA and its application to solve and reduce crime. We can arm policymakers with an overview of state and federal laws and the information and tools they need to ensure their city or state doesn’t wind up tomorrow’s negative headline.
The National Center for Victims of Crime has, for more than 25 years, served as the nation’s most comprehensive resource and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting victims of crime and those who serve them. The National Center for Victims of Crime established, through a grant from the Office for Violence Against Women, the DNA Resource Center, which is a source for training, technical assistance, and information about the use of DNA in the criminal justice system.
The mission of Natasha’s Justice Project (NJP) is to eliminate the nation’s rape kit backlog crisis and empower survivors of sexual assault through education, advocacy, and funding. Natasha Alexenko, founder and spokesperson, is a survivor of sexual assault. Her story was featured in HBO’s critically acclaimed documentary, Sex Crimes Unit. In 2008, nearly 14 years after she was violently attacked at gunpoint, her perpetrator was found through a DNA match, thanks to the dedication of New York City’s Cold Case Unit.
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and rainn.org) which has helped more than 2 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. RAINN has fought for enactment and renewal of key laws, including the Debbie Smith Act and DNA Fingerprint Act and works closely with lawmakers and the administration to protect funding for DNA programs to combat sexual violence.
The mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. Since 2008, Joyful Heart has made ending the rape kit backlog in the United States a top priority. Joyful Heart works to advocate for comprehensive reforms, uncover new backlogs, conduct and share research on victim notification practices, and expand the national dialogue on the importance of rape kit testing.
Collecting DNA from all convicted criminal defendants will be instrumental in preventing the needless suffering of crime victims, such as myself. DNA is a powerful, necessary tool that will help our state’s law enforcement officials prevent future crimes and resolve pending cases.Natasha Alexenko, Natasha's Justice Project
Untested rape kits is a critical public safety issue. It’s a major victims’ rights issue, too. We need to test these kits and get answers and justice for these victims, who have waited way too long. RKAP stands ready to help.Ilse Knecht, Joyful Heart Foundation
It’s appalling that tens of thousands of rapists remain free, even though police possess the evidence to identify and convict them. Every day that these unprocessed kits sit in storerooms and labs, these rapists remain at large, searching out new victims.Rebecca O'Connor, RAINN