The Joyful Heart Foundation, one of the leading advocacy organizations working toward nationwide rape kit reform, today applauded awards by the federal government of more than $38 million in grants to address the backlog of untested sexual assault kits at law enforcement agencies.

“We are grateful to President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the congressional leaders who continue to make ending the rape kit backlog a priority. Focusing a national effort on comprehensive reform demonstrates a commitment to survivors that we will do everything possible to bring healing and justice,” said Maile M. Zambuto, Chief Executive Officer of Joyful Heart. “Testing rape kits sends a fundamental and crucial message to victims of sexual violence: You matter. What happened to you matters.”

DNA evidence is an invaluable investigative tool. When tested, rape kit evidence can identify an unknown assailant, reveal serial offenders, and exonerate the wrongly convicted. Yet, there are thousands upon thousands of rape kits sitting untested in police storage facilities across the country representing thousands of leads to investigate, survivors to re-engage with compassion and care, and cases to prosecute.

Melissa Schwartz / End The Backlog

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