Target: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Goal: Assure rapid justice for victims of sexual assault crimes
President Obama’s proposed federal grant program would help process untested evidence in sexual assault cases, a huge step in bringing justice to the 237,868 victims of sexual assault each year. After a sexual assault, medical personnel compile evidence like blood, hair, saliva, semen, and other DNA samples into what are called rape-kits. Yet, according to an article in the New York Times, these kits can often go untouched in crime labs and police departments for years, meaning that data from nearly 100,000 kits never enter state and national databases. Sexual predators remain on the loose, while victims receive no justice. Urge Senator Reid to unblock this President Obama’s bill and initiate its passage.
Backed by congressional Democrats and Republicans, the program would provide funds to reopen investigation of these cold cases. The program could also have a strong impact in jurisdictions with major backlogs, such as Memphis, Houston, and Cleveland. The program would be especially beneficial to bankrupt cities like Detroit, where 11,000 untested rape kits were found five years ago. Furthermore, in the processing of just the first 2,000 kits, 100 serial rapists were identified, showing the serious consequences for public safety should the bill fail to pass.
Currently, the bill is blocked in the Senate, with House and Senate negotiators unable to settle on a final bill. Yet, there is no time to lose. According to RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, another American is sexually assaulted every two minutes.
By signing the petition below, you can speak out for the many hundreds of thousands of victims whose assailants have gone unpunished. Please raise your voice to ensure that justice is served.
Dear Senator Reid,
I am writing in regards to President Obama’s proposed federal grant program to process untested, so-called rape kits involved in sexual assault cases. As you are undoubtedly aware, having the bill stalled in the Senate has major implications for public safety. Contained in those rape kits is evidence needed to bring perpetrators of sexual assault crimes to justice. As the kits have gone untested, data from nearly 100,000 kits have never been entered.
Your leadership is imperative to the prompt passage of this bill. According to RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, another American is sexually assaulted every two minutes. There is simply no time to lose.
I urge you to consider the dangerous reality that we would face should the bill fail to pass. Five years ago, when just 2,000 of the 11,000 untested rape kits found in Detroit were processed, 100 serial rapists were identified. Please remember who truly loses in the absence of this program – the past, present, and future victims of sexual assault for whom justice might never be served.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vectorportal via flickr