Rape Kit Research Paper

1858 Words8 Pages
“Every two and a half minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United Sates” (Hansen, 2011). With the crime of sexual assault, the victim’s body becomes part of a crime scene. When the victim reports the assault to the police, the person is taken to a hospital or crisis center. “At the hospital most of these victims consent to the collection of physical evidence from their bodies, or a ‘rape kit’ (Nat. Protocol/Sexual Assault Med. Forensic, 2004). There a doctor or nurse will conduct an invasive and exhaustive examination of the victim’s entire body. The victim’s body will be photographed, and swabbed for DNA evidence left behind by the attacker. This process takes about four to six hours to complete. The swabs and photographs becomes evidence, which is collected and preserved in a sexual assault evidence kit, commonly referred to as a rape kit. “When the rape kit is tested, the DNA evidence contained inside can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve and prevent crime” (End the backlog). “The DNA inside the rape kit can help identify an unknown assailant and confirm the presence of a known suspect” (Hansen, 2011). It…show more content…
Instead spend years, even decades, sitting, preserved, untested in police storage facilities. Law enforcement agencies freuently lack the technology to track the untested rape kits and the manpower to transport the untested kits to a crime lab in a timely manner. “Another reason behind the backlog is detective discretion. In the majority of jurisdictions, the decision whether to send a rape kit for testing rests solely within the discretion of the officer assigned to the case” (End the Backlog). There are some law enforcement agencies that don’t prioritize sexual assaults cases. Some fail to dedicate the time and resources to sexual assault cases. Law enforcement members often disbelieve and sometimes even blame victims of sexual assault rather than focusing on bringing the assailant to
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