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Boyle Fights to Reduce the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog

August 31, 2020
Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) secured $49 million in Fiscal Year 2021 to reduce the sexual assault kit backlog through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. Congressman Boyle’s letter asking for full funding was signed by 47 Members of Congress. He has previously led this effort to increase funding in Congress.  

“Every survivor of sexual assault deserves justice,” said Congressman Boyle. “It takes tremendous bravery for survivors to come forward, but it is unconscionable that so many rape kits sit untested on a shelf for years. It is my hope that my continued efforts to fund the federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative will eventually make timely testing, and justice, a reality for survivors all across the United States.”

Developed and launched in 2015, the Department of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative provides funding through competitive grant program to help local jurisdictions reduce the backlog of rape kits that have never been submitted to a crime lab. Congressman Boyle has been committed to addressing this issue since he was a Pennsylvania state representative where he led the effort to require timely testing of rape kits and reporting of backlogged kits in Pennsylvania. From these cumulative efforts, the City of Philadelphia cleared its backlog of untested rape kits in 2019. 

The full letter can be found here.