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After 3 Years and $1.5 Million Testing Rape Kits, Alaska Made One New Arrest

By December 30, 2020No Comments
Rape Kit

After 3 Years and $1.5 Million Testing Rape Kits, Alaska Made One New Arrest—That’s Why Rape Kits Are a ‘False’ Promise for Victims

By Shari Karney, Esq.


In the state with the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation, testing the backlog of rape kits may not be enough. Many were from cases where the identity of the suspect was already known, or were opened only to find no usable DNA.

This is part of the reason I’m not a huge fan of rape kit legislation and the large amount of political capital and advocacy efforts spent on them. It’s a false promise of fake hope for justice for victims and little if nothing comes from these stored rape kits for the millions of rape and sexual assault victims.

It’s hard enough to get a rape prosecution yet alone a rape conviction. Even in circumstances where the rape occurred within 48 hours, there is ample evidence and the victim knows who the accused rapist is, rarely do victims get legal justice. Add in the collection of rape kits sitting on shelves in police evidence rooms or dusty storage  areas for years and you might as well be collecting Beanie Babies.

When legislators easily and willingly pass these kinds of laws (storage and testing of rape kits) it’s because they know them to be ineffective, near useless with great potential to look good and feel good but do nothing.

You get to look like you care and are taking action about rape, sexual assault, #MeToo without really doing anything effective about it. Win-Win. Except for victims.


Just ask Alaska rape victims, whose rape kits are rotting in some evidence room.


What needs to be changed is criminal and civil justice reform for survivors of rape and sexual violence.

First, eliminate all statutes of limitations for sex crimes.

Second, create Sex Assault Courts with trauma informed and trained judges, court personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement and all involved.

Third, rewrite and codify what qualifies as “consent” and limit its uses in rape and sexual assault cases.

Fourth, create civil rights protections for victims of all forms of sexual assault. Sexual violence is a form of gender violence.

Fifth, pass the ERA to give gender sexual violence victims constitutional rights to equality under the law and civil rights protections and enforcement.

And this is just the beginning of reforms sexual assault survivors deserve and should demand.


Oh—one last thing. Sexual abuse survivors must have reforms to ensure Equality in Healthcare.


Article Source:


Shari Karney

Attorney / Survivor /Activist