In another round of good news we could definitely use, President Trump signed legislation to fund rape kit testing. There is an enormous backlog of untested kits, which leaves rapists out on the streets to attack other women. This is so overdue. It leaves me wondering why President Obama never took this issue on being the lover of womens rights that he was.
I always say when people don’t do their jobs other people suffer. This is a prime example of that maxim. We can fund planned unparenthood to the tune of almost $600 million a year, but rape test kits are left to rot on dusty shelves.
Presently, at least 100,000 rape kits are untested in the U.S. and are likely to remain so without adequate funding to test DNA in a timely fashion.
The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019, named in honor of a 1989 rape victim whose evidence went untested until 1994, will help fund DNA test training as well as education programs. The law will also fund the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grant Program.
“This legislation authorizes the Department of Justice to provide resources to State and local law enforcement to help make sure that criminals are brought to justice. We know that DNA is much more likely than fingerprints to result in the identification of a criminal, yet thousands of rape kits currently sit untested in labs and on police storage shelves across the Nation,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The new law will authorize the DOJ to take the issue up. $151 million a year will flow through the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program. An additional $12.5 million is earmarked for DNA training and education programs. The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grant Program will receive $30 million a year.
In essence the money will allow the hiring of more technicians who can complete the testing of the rape kits. Such a simple task to leave undone for so long.
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