Untested rape kits: Clearing New Mexico’s backlog by Devona Bradford.
If you’ve watched the news lately you may have seen the story on New Mexico’s backlog of sexual assault evidence kits. There are currently over 5,000 untested kits, dating back to 80’s. New Mexico is currently working with a number of partners, including the state auditor and law enforcement, to get these kits tested.
Why is it important to test these kits? It’s important because each victim of sexual assault goes through a timely exam, some can take several hours, to collect DNA evidence from the perpetrator. Testing kits bring victims justice and closure. It also holds perpetrators accountable for the crime, preventing future assaults and other crimes. Stay tuned for more updates! The coalition is part of current initiatives to take care of the backlog. As CSVANW’s Sexual Assault Project Coordinator, I currently sit on the Victim Notification Taskforce, a statewide task force for the untested kits, and bring the voice of NM tribal communities to the table.