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Date Rape

Date Rape

In many cases of rape and sexual abuse, the predator is a man the woman is dating. This is commonly called Date Rape or Aquaintance Rape. These are the most common type of rape committed.

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Dancing in the Darkness
The Rape Kit Controversy - - 2004-11-11 04:43:19

The Rape Kit Controversy

In cities across the country, hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting untested in police department evidence rooms. These kits contain DNA that could lead to the arrest of rapists and free wrongly convicted men. Some of these kits have gone untested for more than a decade due to a lack of funding.

A rape kit contains the evidence that is generally collected at a hospital after a woman is raped. Rape is one crime where the culprit leaves evidence behind such as stained clothing, skin from underneath fingernails, hairs and semen. Collecting this evidence can be a very invasive process for women. But often times, this is where the investigation stops. Police departments say they can't afford $500$1000 per test to extract the DNA and enter it into the national database.

Howard Safir, former Police Commissioner of New York City, found there were 16,000 untested kits in storage when he was in office. Now a consultant for a DNA testing lab, Howard estimates there are 300,000500,000 untested kits across the country. Howard says, "Not testing a woman's kit is like telling her 'You are not worth $500.'"

To investigate this problem further, ABC's 20/20 paid the police department of Baltimore half of the money needed to test 50 rape kits. Their investigation solved five major crime cases and exonerated a wrongfully imprisoned man. Brian Ross, Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News, says that in Baltimore alone, it would take an estimated $4.5 million dollars to process their backlog of rape kits.

"The great journalist H.L. Mencken said that an investigative reporter is a great one if he either puts somebody in jail or gets someone out. For the first time in a story I've done, this did both ...and it helped expose a national problem that exists in virtually every city and state in the country," says Brian.

Who Is Responsible for Testing the Kits?

The police are not the negligent party in these situations; they simply don't have the money needed for testing. Howard Safir explains, "For the price of one B-1 Bomber we could [test] all of the rape kits and convicted offenders." By law convicted rapists are supposed to have their DNA samples analyzed. Each analysis costs $50 and is entered into the national database. This helps in the conviction process using rape kits. One million of these samples are sitting out there unanalyzed,

Finding a Solution

Howard Safir encourages writing to state legislators, mayors and police chiefs in support of funding non-suspect rape kits. For more information, please visit
www.rapeevidence.org

Brian Ross says victims need to become their own advocate. He recommends following up with the detective or police chief. Ask: Has the kit been tested, and have the results been entered into the state or national database? If you do not receive the support you need, call your local newspaper or television station and raise a ruckus!


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The above article is courtesy of the Oprah Showat www.oprah.com



This site is offered for support of other survivors, it is not meant to be a substitute for any kind of professional help. I don't have any qualifications or training in therapy, I am by no means a professional. I claim no responsibility for the use of this web site, use of content, or content of any links leading from this site. If you are in a crisis situation I urge you to contact your local rape crisis center or health care professional.

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