Test 400K launches 'Track It' at NCSL with help from Kentucky rape survivor
08/12/2016 02:46 PM
After successfully championing rape kit reforms in Kentucky, Michelle Kuiper helped kickoff the call for nationwide reforms for timely testing and tracking notifications of sexual assault kits.
Test 400K, a national rape kit reform advocacy group, launched their “Track It” campaign from Chicago at the National Conference of State Legislatures this week.
The group sent governor’s across the nation a rape kit along with tracking codes in an effort to garner attention to the fact that most kits don’t include tracking information relayed to victims.
“We’ve already got several governor’s that have called into say, ‘oh my gosh, I want to be the first one,’… so here’s what’s happening — they’re seeing not only can Kentucky make this great reform happen — other states can do it too,” Kuiper said.
Kuiper was assaulted while attending the University of Louisville in the 1990’s, and it wasn’t until 2005 that she would learn her assailant’s DNA was found in two other rape kits tested by police.
Test 400K and Kuiper are asking that some “basic needs” of victims be met as sexual assault forensic kits are collected. First she said all kits should be tested in a timely manner within 15 to 30 days, and victims should be notified on the testing progress.
Kentucky put an emphasis on those points with the passage of the SAFE Act in 2016, and now Kuiper, and others, are watching on as the nation’s governors are poised to take action.
“It feels really empowering to know that whatever happened to me in the past can be used to create change for the future, and can not only help future victims, but victims that are in the backlog,” she said.
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