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How far has Washington state come in testing the rape kit backlog?

The state received federal funding to improve the process

SEATTLE — In 2017 Washington state received $3 million in federal funding to help ease the backlog of over 6000 rape kits. How far has the state come with testing? According to a recent inventory of state law enforcement agencies, over 6500 are still awaiting testing, some decades old. 

So what's the hold-up? Captain Monica Alexander from the Washington State Patrol and Representative Tina Orwall of Des Moines join New Day Northwest to talk about the backlog and the structural struggles in place that make it difficult to get through them.

Representative Orwall is supporting a new bill, HB 1166, that would help end the backlog of rape kits in Washington state. The bill would support updating current rape kit testing technology and mandate that all new rape kits be tested within 45 days. The bill also sets a goal for Washington to completely test the backlog by 2020. To support the bill, contact your local legislator encouraging them to support HB 1166. To find your local legislators' contact information, visit the Access page on the Washington State Legislature's website. 

For more information on Washington's rape kit backlog visit End the Backlog's website.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please call The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) where trained professionals can provide confidential support, help you find a local healthcare facility that's trained to care for survivors, connect you with local resources and provide legal information.

Watch New Day Northwest 11:00 weekdays on KING-TV Ch.5 or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with New Day via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram