The Handling of Child Rape Kits

A great deal of attention in recent years has been focused on the backlog for testing rape kits in many states, with the attention almost uniformly on the needs and experiences of adult victims.

CHILD USA has analyzed data on children’s rape kits in numerous states and concluded that further study is needed.

What We Need to Know

CHILD USA will be gathering and examining files involving allegations of child sex abuse and/or rape to determine how rape kits are handled, with attention to the procedures followed; the pace at which they are tested; and the provenance of the kits over time.

We are also interested in learning what training is provided to law enforcement personnel about the SOLs for the various offenses related to child sex abuse and rape.

See our CEO, Prof. Marci Hamilton’s contributions to CNN’s shocking new investigative report on destroyed rape kits HERE.

CNN separated out those cases and forwarded approximately 185 cases drawn from 7 states. Among those cases we examined, the rape kit was often destroyed long before the statute of limitations (SOL) ran out. Given that most child victims need decades to press charges or to sue their abusers and enablers, this indicates that there is a serious problem. This lack of justice is not only a judicial problem, but contributes to the traumatization of these most vulnerable victims.