The overwhelming rape testing kit backlogs in the country is far worse than what authorities think. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, that more than 10,000 rape kits have not been tested.

These rape investigation evidences in these kits could potentially solve thousands of rape and sexual assault cases. It could create an impact to the lives of victims and the suspect's DNA in those kits could potentially aid in the investigation of other crimes he committed including those done by serial rapists.

In the preliminary data released in the FDLE website, it shows that 10,900 kits from a total of 262 agencies in Florida have not been tested. The agency said that other agencies will update the information and the number could still increase.

FDLE is conducting a $300,000 survey to determine the extent and severity of the problems. In December, it is scheduled to present the total number of untested kits to the public and will present its findings to the Legislature in January.

The main predicament authorities point as to the increasing number of backlogs in rape kits is the lack of government funding. Attorney General Pam Bondi called for more funding in the next state budget to be used to process kits amounting to around $800 to $1,000 per kit.

"We understand it will likely take a number of years to process these kits, and we look forward to reviewing FDLE's final assessment once it is completed," Atty. Bondi wrote in a statement.

Rape kits or otherwise known as sexual assault evidence collection kit was developed for medical personnel to gather and preserve physical evidence following an allegation of rate or sexual assault. This kit will be used in rape investigation and evidence can be presented in court hearings.

In the United States, the cost of kits and increasing number of backlogs have posed problems to victims seeking justice. Joyful Heart Foundation's ENDTHEBACKLOG program aims to shed light on the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the country.

Its goal is to conduct research to identify the extent of the country's backlog and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation.

"These kits represent victims. They deserve to have the evidence tested so that the perpetrators of their crimes can be brought to justice," Republican State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto said. She has filed a proposal to fasten the testing of rape kits. 

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.