March 31st, 2009
Human Rights Watch published a multimedia piece on a backlog of sexual assault exam kits in L.A. They included a few of my images from working with the Harborview S.A.N.E. nurses, which felt great because I’ve long admired the work of Human Rights Watch. One “technical” note; they termed a forensic sexual assault exam kit a “rape kit.” It’s something I picked up from working closely with nurses, detectives, and prosecutors but rape kits are what rapists use to rape someone. Although, I also learned prosecutors love the term because it’s more shocking for the jury.
Says the website:
“Women who report being raped are asked to undergo a lengthy, extensive examination to collect DNA and other physical evidence that might identify their attacker, corroborate testimony about the assault, or connect their case to other rape crime scene evidence. The resulting collection – called a rape kit – is then booked into police evidence.
“Human Rights Watch analyzed data from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and Los Angeles County’s 47 independent police departments, and found that as of March 1, 2009, there were at least 12,669 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities.”
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