NewsDallas Leads Texas In Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits

Dallas Leads Texas In Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits

Cities in Texas are working to reduce the high numbers of backlogged rape kits, with untested kits in Dallas going as far back as 1996.

The quantity of untested rape kits in Texas, particularly in Dallas, was quite alarming. The significant factors contributing to this backlog, which extended into the thousands, included the pandemic, understaffing, and insufficient funding, as cited by law enforcement agencies, including the Dallas Police Department.

“I still say that one is too many,” shared Masters to the publication. “I know we’ve come a long way, and I applaud that. I’m grateful for that, but still, I don’t see the excuse of having any kits on the shelf. I know you tell me it’s about training or funding or outsourcing the testing to different labs, but having so many kits on the shelf just doesn’t rest well with me. It just doesn’t.”

“You have to find a balance,” continued Masters. “You can’t say that we [sexual assault victims with older, backlogged rape kits] aren’t a priority. This time next year, you could have another thousand rape kits from victims that come forward, and what happens then? The new cases now will be the old cases then.”

Victims, especially from Black and brown communities, continue to face obstacles when seeking answers and justice from sexual assault, say experts, but the advocacy from Masters and local elected officials is making strides to ensure the process does not remain at a standstill.

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Source: Black Enterprise

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