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Improving the System: Not letting 50% of Rape Kits go to waste

Improving the System: Not letting 50% of Rape Kits go to waste

We haven’t slowed down our work. We are figuring out the best way to achieve our next lofty goal for 2016: Timely processing of forensic lab samples.

Unbelievably India’s forensics labs are a mess, and even in The Capital up to 50% of lab samples will not get tested for over 1 year! And then, many of those will be deemed “inadmissible!”

Attached is a “Right To Information” Act reply from the Delhi Government dated March 16, 2016. We retrieved this info from the Delhi Commission of Women:

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There are a total of 7290 lab samples waiting, some since 2009. It says that for “for 1479 samples accurate report can no longer be prepared as these cases have been pending in the laboratory since 2011… … 2169 samples have been pending since 2014 and … period within which accurate report can be prepared, may have expired….”.

That’s 3678 samples out of 7290, or 50% !

This summer, I was honored to meet Mr.Scott Holcomb from the Georgia House of Representatives in the US.

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He got his state’s “Rape Kit Bill” passed into law this year! We want to learn from his success and make the same happen here in Delhi and all of India.

The “Rape Kit Law” requires forensic medical exams to be given to law enforcement officials within 96 hours of receiving this evidence. Under this legislation, law enforcement officials are then required to turn the evidence over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation within 30 days of receipt. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will be required to issue an annual report detailing the number of cases waiting to be tested.

They are making the officials be accountable for this! We hope to follow suit and make our agencies and officials accountable as well!

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