Untested rape kit backlog now “completely eliminated” in Virginia

Rape Kits
Posted at 10:34 AM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 11:39:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Attorney General Mark Herring made a historic update on his project to end Virginia's rape kit backlog on Wednesday morning.

He said the entire backlog of untested kits has now been “completely eliminated” and it’s “never coming back.”

Herring said eliminating the backlog means that a wrong has been righted and that justice is closer for more survivors.

He added that they believe Virginia is only the seventh state to eliminate its rape kit backlog.

Attorney General Herring has led the effort, along with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science and local law enforcement agencies, to eliminate a backlog of thousands of pre-2016 untested PERK kits held by law enforcement, some of which were decades old, his office said.

The PERK testing initiative is one part of Attorney General Herring’s larger effort to change the culture around sexual violence in Virginia.

In addition to eliminating the rape kit backlog, Herring’s office said he has invested in training to make trauma-informed, survivor-centered responses the new standard, has worked with DFS to launch the state’s first electronic statewide PERK tracking system and has brought on additional personnel to support survivors.