Most people will agree that seeking justice for survivors of sexual assault is a public safety priority. However, a 2015 study identified an estimated
6,000 untested rape kits
in Washington. Survivors who have reported the crime against them and undergone a rape exam deserve the assurance that the evidence collected will be used to help identify and stop the perpetrator.
More must be done to ensure every rape kit in Washington is tested.
Fortunately, the Washington State Legislature has the opportunity to do just that by
addressing one of the main causes of the rape kit backlog: money
creates funding for testing kits
and investigating cases by establishing a grant system, facilitating private donations, and imposing a small fee on admission to sexually oriented businesses, such as live adult entertainment clubs, to support these efforts.
HB 2530 also
creates a statewide tracking system
for rape kits, allowing both officials and survivors to track the status and location of specific kits. This bill was
out of committee
with bipartisan support
, but it needs to move through the House Appropriations committee before tomorrow's cutoff for action.