When victims report sexual assaults, they are often asked to submit to forensic examinations to detect DNA evidence left behind by the perpetrator. These examinations, done soon after assaults, can last hours and cause additional trauma to victims. While many victims provide rape kit evidence, police departments nationwide chronically fail to investigate rape cases. This means that the rape kits remain untested, cases remain unsolved, and laws against rape are not enforced.
LEARN ABOUT WHY RAPE LAWS ARE NOT ENFORCED.
Laws against sexual violence go unenforced for several reasons. Because local law enforcement agencies have the power to make their own rules, they are all different. They all have policies that reflect the political priorities of their communities.
Learn about why these problems exist.
LEARN ABOUT WHY ENFORCING LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS IMPORTANT.
Rape is a serious crime that must be fully and properly investigated by law enforcement when it is reported.
Learn about the value of criminalizing rape.
LEARN THE HISTORY OF POLICE MISHANDLING RAPE CASES.
You may hear about police departments “discovering” their untested rape kits, but the failure of police to investigate rape cases is nothing new.
Learn about when and where these problems have been exposed.
LEARN HOW YOU CAN JOIN OUR EFFORTS.
Victims, investigative journalists, and activists across the country are working to expose the failure of police to investigate rape cases, but they cannot take this on alone. They need support. They need platforms. And they need resources. There are ways for all us to get involved in taking action to treat rape like the serious crime that it is.
People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws is a program of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to monitor law enforcement responses to sexual violence, develop peer advocacy, and organize for criminal justice reform. We urge you to learn more about America’s hidden rape crisis, where it has been exposed, and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support our efforts to make sure law enforcement takes rape seriously.