Message from Mariska Hargitay: The Shame of Rape-Kit Backlogs

National studies have shown that cases in which rape-kit evidence was tested were much more likely to advance through the criminal justice system and lead to arrests. New York City’s arrest rate for rape rose from 40 percent to 70 percent once it adopted the policy to test every booked rape kit. In Los Angeles, a recent decision to test every booked rape kit uncovered DNA evidence from suspects in additional rape cases. Testing every kit, and giving law enforcement the resources they need to investigate sexual assaults fully, makes a dramatic difference in victims’ lives — and public safety.