Shrine officials have been waiting for Pflug Road to be fixed.
That wait has stretched to months, and work still hasn’t started.
This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we explore the overlap between domestic violence and sexual assault, and how efforts to end the backlog have brought to light the prevalence of this overlap. She writes today’s blog to inspire legislators and advocates across the country.
Today’s guest author is Texas State Representative Donna Howard, who has served in the Texas House since 2006, representing District 48 in Travis County. Testing rape kits swiftly helps link crimes together and identify serial rapists sooner.
Today’s guest author is Chris Kaiser, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA).
Texas recently became the first state in the nation to enact all of our six legislative pillars of rape kit reform.
Earlier this month, Joyful Heart’s Policy and Advocacy team attended the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit in Boston.
Over the course of three days, we connected with lawmakers and staffers from across the country about how to end the backlog of untested rape kits.
A doctor or nurse will photograph, swab and conduct an examination of the victim's entire body for DNA evidence left behind by the attacker − a process that may take four to six hours to complete.Studies of perpetrators identified through testing backlogged kits show that serial offenders commit many types of violent crimes, including crimes against intimate partners and acquaintances.James Drane of Detroit is one of the many perpetrators linked to both domestic violence and sexual assault.Even when law enforcement does send rape kits to the crime lab for testing, those kits can sit for months and, in some cases, years, before being tested.This delay is often because crime labs lack the resources and personnel to test rape kits in a timely manner.