Federal grant money will allow 1200+ untested rape kits to be analyzed in Virginia
FAIRFAX CO., Va. —
The backlog of rape kits is a problem that has hit law enforcement in both Virginia and Maryland. But now in the Commonwealth, a breakthrough.
“It is so important that we help survivors reclaim the power and control that their attacker tried to take away.”
Thursday in Fairfax County, Attorney General Mark Herring joined Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe to announce that more than 1200 previously untested kits collected between 2014 and 2016 will soon get tested. It’s part of a $3.5 million federal grant program to eliminate the backlog.
The first lady says that this is big step towards addressing two major causes, “Survivor healing and justice and public safety for all of us in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
More than one thousand kits collected before 2014 have already been sent to the state lab for testing. Four hundred fifty have been completed and have resulted in forty-four matches to known profiles in the national DNA database.
An additional 2200 kits from around the state still need to be tested, and the Attorney General’s Office says it is sending new kits to the state lab the moment space becomes available.