On Wednesday September 29, NBC’s crime drama Law and Order: SVU highlighted the story of a victim whose case had been held up because of a rape kit backlog. This special episode guest starred Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five, Ghost Whisperer) and stars Mariska Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation. The Law and Order cast took time out of their schedule to record a “Call to Action” video posted above.
In order to advocate state and national officials to provide the resources needed to eliminate the backlog, the Joyful Heart Foundation has started EndtheBacklog.org that will give victims and advocates resources to act and spread the word.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed two bills, that if signed, would have move this state closer to solving our own rape kit backlog. AB 558 by Assemblymember Portantino would require local jurisdictions to report the number of rape kits in backlog starting in 2011 in order to standardize record keeping and data sharing. AB 2009 by Assemblymember Logue makes changes to how state funds are spent to focus monies towards eliminating the backlog. Click through the links to read the legislation and if you wish to send a letter to the Governor expressing your disappointment with his veto, you can fax them to (916) 445-4633.
Visit CALCASA’s rape kit backlog tag to view our past blogs on this issue.