TX Crowdfunding Yields $235M for Rape Kit Tests

More than 3,500 kits with evidence of possible sex crimes are untested in Texas. A law allowing driver’s license applicants or renewers to donate funds for the testing has been successful.

A Texas law that crowdfunds money for rape kit testing has collected almost a quarter-million dollars in its first five months, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Victoria Neave. The state has long been faced with a backlog of untested rape kits, which are gathered by police through hours-long exams of sexual assault victims and cost anywhere between $500 and $2,000 to test, the Texas Tribune reports. The most recent data made available by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows a backlog of more than 3,500 untested rape kits statewide.

A program spearheaded by Neave allows Texans applying for or renewing their driver’s license the option to donate $1 or more toward rape kit testing. The program has collected more than $234,956. “Cost was the most-cited reason for not getting these rape kits tested,” says Neave. “Sexual assault happens every single day, and the numbers continue to increase. There still isn’t enough funding right now to get all of the kits tested.” A spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott said none of the money has been released yet but that application requests are set to go out July 1.

from https://thecrimereport.org