With possibly hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested across the country, a number of states are proposing legislation to address backlogs that in at least one case dates back nearly three decades.
The New York-based Rape Kit Action Project says that there are more than 12,000 untested rape kits going back to the 1980s in Memphis, Tenn. alone. The group has been tracking the backlogs nationwide. In the entire state of Texas, there are about 16,000 untested kits collecting dust in police evidence rooms.
Tennessee is among at least 17 states with proposals that range from requiring law enforcement agencies to inventory their rape kits to analyzing them in a certain amount of time. Three states have passed laws that mandate a statewide accounting of untested rape kits.