Virginia’s backlog of rape kits get completed tests, some after decades


"Virginia's backlog of untested rape kits has been completely eliminated and its never coming back," Herring said.

CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring along with other state officials gave an important update on their fight to end Virginia’s backlog of rape kits.

A long lasting fight resulted in victory for Herring, Virginia’s Department of Forensic Science, and local law enforcement for their efforts in pushing to erase a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits, some decades old.

Herring said, “Virginia’s backlog of untested rape kits has been completely eliminated and it’s never coming back.”

Commonwealth officials said eliminating this backlog means wrongs are being made right, justice is closer for more survivors and Virginia is becoming a safer place. Herring said thousands of tests have been completed on previous untested kits collected prior to 2014.

“Untested PERK kits have been sitting on the shelves in police storage facilities around the Commonwealth just collecting dust. PERK kits are Physical Evidence Recovery Kits, they’re used to collect DNA and other physical evidence as part of an investigation into sexual assault” said Herring.

In addition to removing rape kit backlogs, Herring is investing in training to make trauma informed survivor center responses the new standard.


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