West Virginia, like other states are struggling to clean up a mess that years of underfunding and little education created. For years sexual assault examination kits (rape kits) went untested or unsubmitted due to a variety of reasons, but now the West Virginia State Police is working to end that backlog.
“Most victims leave the hospital after they get this exam done and they never hear again about their case or where their kit is,” Ilse Knecht, Director of Policy and Advocacy, End the Backlog.
In 2015 and 2016 West Virginia received federal funds from DANY and SAKI, to begin working on their backlog of around 2,400 rape kits.
Now, almost 2,000 kits have been tested or are in the process of being tested but West Virginia is working to make sure another backlog isn’t in the Mountain States future.
“That’s what we do everyday it’s to take the stress away, take the burden away from that individual. Take it upon ourselves and give them closure,” Major R. Patterson, WVSP.