Many sexual assault victims in Texas have to wait years for closure because the state has a massive backlog of untested rape kits, but now you may be able to help change that with a simple donation.
The cost of testing is often cited as a main reason for the rape kit backlog.
Thursday, State Representative Victoria Neave announced a donation-based grant program.
It will give Texans the option to donate a dollar, or more, when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, personal ID card, commercial driver’s license or when register their vehicle.
That money will go toward testing evidence in sexual assault cases.
The program was unveiled in Garland Thursday, with one sexual assault survivor and victim advocate explaining how much a tested kit meant to her.
“It was like everything was ripped from me, my soul was taken from me, and having my kit re-opened and examined, gave me my life back,” said Lavinia Masters. “It’s different for me now, I’m not afraid of anything. I’m not afraid of anything.”
As reported by the Austin American-Statesman in June 2017, some of the rape kits in Austin were so old they were growing mold.
The program is expected to generate more than a million dollars a year to get the backlogged rape kits tested.