Rape kits are used to identify a perpetrator through DNA testing, and both Georgia and Florida have backlogs of thousands of untested kits. Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation in April to help push thousands of kits through the testing system. The Womens Center of Jacksonville in Arlington is working with the state to get a local backlog of kits tested. Officials at the center said that there is a backlog of 1,400 kits in Duval and Nassau counties, but they should all be submitted to the state crime lab by February, about nine months sooner then officials anticipated. I think were actually ahead of the game, said Robin Graber, director of Rape Recovery Team Programs for the Women's Center. I dont think we thought we would be done sending the kits before October 2017, so February 2017, were pretty happy about it. Graber said the states goal is to have all kits tested by 2019, which would be a huge step toward giving victims closure, because in some cases the perpetrators still havent been caught. If the DNA comes back, they may be able to prosecute, Graber said. Theres some things about statutes of limitations, but theres also the Williams rule. So if theres a serial offender, if we have the backlog of cases that we now know theres a serial offender, we can still bring those perpetrators to court. Since the issue of the backlog came to light in the last few years, a group called the Joyful Heart Foundation has pushed to get the kits tested. The group is helping draw a lot of the federal funding that is pushing the kits through testing.
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