A Real Problem: A Rise in Untested Rape Kits
Marie Claire recently brought a huge problem to my attention. As a woman, I was taught to always carry pepper spray, scream if a stranger grabs you, and run like hell. Anyone who has watched the news or shows like "Law and Order: SVU" can only imagine how scary rape is, and no one would ever wish that for themselves or another person.
One of the women mentioned in the article, who was raped while trying to help a man she thought was injured, waited for her rape kit to be tested after thirteen years. THIRTEEN YEARS! How is that quick, efficient, and effective justice?
Rape CAN be prevented by rapidly testing these rape kits so that rapists can be linked to their crimes, charged, and put behind bars.
What bother me the most is one of the statistics that this article brings up. Many victims are the victims of serial rapists who have probably raped between seven and eleven others before being put behind bars.
Although we have had the technology to effectively capture rapists since 1989, there are many cases that have been backlogged and probably occurred around the same time. Congress estimates that over 180,000 rape kits have yet to be opened. The only thing more sickening? Most victims have no idea about this and will be stuck waiting for years — maybe even decades — for the justice that they deserve.
These problems can be fixed, but, why aren't they? Why are young women like me having to live in fear? Throwing money at the problem has yet to prove successful since the funds keep disappearing and being misused. How sickening is that?
Many of the women in these articles report being terrified and, honestly, who wouldn't be? I couldn't even imagine someone forcing me to do the horrible things these women were subjected to. Despite counseling, many of these victims are in a state of shock and fear for many, many years and this affects their self-image, relationships, and life overall.