WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama released the following statement on his efforts to secure $102 million to assure clearing rape kit backlogs are made a priority in 2020 federal spending. The $102 million will go to the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant program.
“There is an old legal saying – ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ For thousands of victims of sexual assault across our country, including Alabama, justice has been delayed because of the wait time for DNA evidence to be examined.
“The rape kit backlog is currently one of the main obstacles to prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence. Some estimates show that the arrest rate is nearly three times higher when rape kits are tested. That’s why I worked to include in the 2020 Federal Budget, $102 million to specifically help clear this backlog.
“Every untested rape kit represents a victim denied justice. Every tested rape kit represents that victim’s hope for justice. This new funding should provide that hope for many more victims.
“If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. Help is available to you today.”