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March 17, 2015 By Elizabeth Share
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced that $41 million in federal funding will be used to test the approx. 400,000 backlogged rape kits sitting in storage around the country. While many of those kits have languished in resource-strapped labs, Mikulski noted a Department of Justice study that also found untested rape kits sitting in police officers’ desks and lockers, never even making it to the lab “because somehow or another they weren’t seen as important enough to move forward.” “There is a horrific statistic from the CDC that says one in four women will face rape, violence, or stalking,” Mikulski said. Women are then often “doubly victimized by a system that doesn’t follow through on the prosecution.” Biden and Mikulski also helped pass the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, ensuring that women would not have to pay for their rape-kit exams and would never have their sexual history used against them in a rape trial.