'Lost Promise For Rape Victims'

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the majority of rape victims never report the crime. Those victims determined to help police find their attacker face a difficult series of interviews and examinations, can spend hours in a clinic or a hospital and can also be subject to a search for physical evidence — hairs, bruises, fibers, fluids, material that's collected into a "rape kit." Many thousands of rape kits, however, are never opened and evidence that could identify a rapist often sits untouched in police department freezers.

Sarah Tofte, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who wrote an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times about un-opened rape kits, talks about her work researching the rape kit backlog in the United States.

Gail Abarbanel, founder of the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, joins the conversation and talks about how rape kits work.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.