If you had a sexual assault forensic exam and would like to receive updates about the testing of your kit, you can contact a SAKI Advocate at MCASA.
Yesterday, ProPublica published an article emphasizing the cost of delaying DNA testing of unsubmitted sexual assault evidence kits. Between the cost of health services, lost wages, and expenses incurred by the criminal justice system, the economic cost resulting from just one rape is estimated to be $240,776. The delay in DNA testing enables serial perpetrators to continue committing violence after victims report their assault, multiplying this economic cost.
Only a fraction of Maryland's backlog has been tested. Close to 300 rape kits, or about 4% of the state's inventory of unsubmitted kits, have been tested, according to state records as of July 31, 2021. Resource-tight forensic labs and the effects of the pandemic contribute to the delay, however, not all delays are COVID-19 related. Some agencies have been taking their time sending cases in for testing and reevaluation. MCASA, the Office of the Attorney General, and Maryland State Police continue to work together to improve the processing time of sexual assault evidence kits.
Survivors in Maryland deserve to have answers about the status of their sexual assault evidence kit.