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. 

The failure of law enforcement to investigate rape complaints allows perpetrators to escape consequences and, in many cases, to attack again.

Law enforcement is responsible for following the laws that make rape illegal.  We must hold them accountable.

There are ways for all of us to get involved in taking action to criminalize rape in the United States.


As committed individuals and groups, we can demand that elected officials and law enforcement take rape seriously. There are several ways that community members can stand up, take action, and join this critical movement:


Law enforcement agencies are in charge of their own policies, so advocating for transparency from your local agencies can have a big impact.  Encourage your district attorney to disclose the prosecution rate for sexual offenses.  Be a peer victim advocate.

Raise Awareness

People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws works in partnership with victims, journalists, advocates, grassroots organizations , and others to bring attention to the failure of law enforcement agencies to investigate rape and demand improvements. We call on the criminal justice system to treat sexual violence as seriously as any other crime. We believe that proper law enforcement investigations protect the rights of both victims and the accused. Join us in our efforts: share enforcerapelaws.org with your community. Email your friends and family, tweet it, write about it, spread the word any way you can. Help us make sure law enforcement takes rape seriously.

Learn More

Knowledge is power. Learn more about victim rights, the criminal justice responses to sexual violence, and how you can make a difference.

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Donate to PERL’s Work

We can only achieve our goal of criminalizing rape with the support of our community.  This important work requires the resources to sustain research and an advocacy presence in cities across the nation for years to come. With your financial support, we can continue to work toward the day that rape is truly illegal. Click here to make a donation.

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.