Being the victim of sexual assault is tragic enough. When the rapist gets away with the attack because of an untested rape kit, the situation becomes even more disheartening.


According to a joint investigation done by USA TODAY and TENGA, 800 U.S. police agencies were found holding over 70,000 untested rape kits. With all of this evidence sitting untested, thousands of sexual assault cases are going unsolved.


Rape kits stack up in evidence

Thousands of rape kits are going untested due to the high cost of testing. (RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Why is it that so many rape kits are being ignored when they are in the hands of those responsible for finding evidence? The main reason comes down to the high testing costs. On average, the cost of testing a rape kit is $1,500. To look for evidence in every untested kit in the United States, it would cost over $100 million.


Laura Neuman was 18 when she was raped, but her rape kit wasn’t tested when the incident first occurred. The crime went unsolved for 19 years. Neuman convinced police to reopen her case, and only days later the DNA led law enforcement officers to the rapist.


“And we got a match on 12 more cases. Those cases would never have been solved had I not pursued getting my case reopened,” said Neuman.


Testing costs may be high, but rape kits have proven to be one of the most important factors in finding the victim’s attacker. Congress has responded to the problem by approving $41 million in grants to get these kits tested.


The grant money will help give thousands of victims closure, but more money needs to be raised to completely end this problem. When solving a case can be as easy as testing evidence that has already been acquired, no rape kit should go untested.


Will grant money be enough to end this problem, or are there other changes that need to be made? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.