Last week, Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) “introduced a bill in the House to address the national crisis of untested rape kit backlogs. The Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault Act of 2009 is the House version of a Senate bill introduced earlier this month.”
Congresswoman Maloney said in a press release:
Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted somewhere in the United States. DNA evidence doesn’t forget and it cannot be intimidated…By processing this evidence, we can prevent rapists from attacking more innocent victims and ensure that the survivors and their families receive justice.
If the bill passes “financial incentives would be introduced to process rape kit backlogs quickly, require that jurisdictions receiving Debbie Smith funds use them for rape kit testing, and would mandate that these jurisdictions have a plan to reduce their rape kit backlog by 50 percent in two years.”
The bill also creates a mechanism for collecting national data on rape kit backlogs and addresses the lack of trained medical professionals to process the kits.