Letters to the Editor 4-28-16

543

Rape Kit Backlog

To the Editor:

To the people of Switzerland County, I’ve written and spoken about sexual assault and Domestic Violence on multiple occasions. One issue that I haven’t tackled and should have though is the Rape Kit Backlog.

What is the backlog? Well, not only is it in Indiana, but across America. Tens of Thousands of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits aka Rape Kits are left in storage and are untested.

Why does this occur?

Either the police departments or evidence labs in the U.S. don’t have the funding or resources to test and track them, but also on some occasions, the state law or department policy doesn’t require law enforcement agencies or labs to track or test them. In Indianapolis alone, there are over 5,000 kits (5,006 to be exact). Now there are several other large cities and communities across Indiana, not to mention 92 counties as well. If the capital city in our state has that, statewide I can assure you we probably have much more.

In Indiana there is no law requiring Sexual Assault Evidence Kits/Rape Kits to be tracked or tested. This means in our state, it isn’t a financial issue, it’s a priority issue. Indiana doesn’t prioritize or at least by law doesn’t anyway, Sexual Assault and it’s traumatized victims. We need to stand up and say no to the perpetrators and fix the system to serve justice and treatment lawfully, fairly, and effectively.

I’m currently working with Safe Passage, Inc. to get some training to further help Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Victims. They run a organization helping battered and abused individuals, even having a shelter in Batesville for them. Also I will be eventually bringing awareness and educating the public. I’ve decided to start a program called the Indiana Sexual Assault Awareness Project. This will be to assist both victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence here in the state.

I will be making a website for the project here shortly and that will give out a lot of information and resources from community, state, and national sources. My biggest goals are to make awareness, treatment, and resources more open and accessible and to end the ineffective laws that aid these heinous crimes. Like, my top priority of ending the backlog. The Indiana Law assists the backlog. That and so much more needs to be changed.

If you have been Sexually Assaulted or Battered remember you aren’t alone and it isn’t your fault at all!

I urge you to seek help and let yourself know you will heal and your perpetrator doesn’t own you and you can get out from the violence, trauma, and pain.

Here are some phone numbers to call of you need help:

If you’re in absolute danger call 9-1-1.

Safe Passage Inc.

1-877-733-1990

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-4763

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

1-866-331-9474

Also if you’d like to be pointed towards some resources, assist my efforts, or share your story, you can contact: insaap.rc@gmail.com

Sexual Abuse and Domestic Abuse can occur to anyone and it has no boundary folks! It doesn’t have to keep happening in this world, nation, or community. Let’s stop it and help those that have been through it now!

Thanks,

Ryan Curry,

Florence