House Introduces Rape Kit Legislation to Improve Local and State Reporting Requirements and Increase Transparency on Backlogs

Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2023) - The failure to test rape kits and DNA evidence enables serial perpetrators to commit violence with impunity. A bill introduced today in the House of Representatives will help fix that. The Rape Kit Backlog Progress Act, sponsored by Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC-1) and Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), and endorsed by RAINN, would strengthen reporting requirements and give the public vital information about the status of DNA evidence kit backlogs across the nation.

In addition to requiring the Justice Department to make all reporting data publicly available, the Rape Kit Backlog Progress Act requires state and local governments to report: Whether they have completed an inventory of sexual assault kits in their possession.

  • Whether those kits have been submitted for testing.
  • Whether the state has developed electronic tracking and notification systems so that victims are notified and can monitor the status of their kit.
  • Whether results were uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the FBI’s tool that tracks DNA profiles from convicted offenders and arrestees, unsolved cases, and missing persons.

“State and local governments have a responsibility to test the evidence collected from sexual assault kits,” said Stefan Turkheimer, RAINN’s interim vice president of public policy. “The Rape Kit Backlog Progress Act increases transparency on the status and testing of rape kits, creating a higher level of accountability for state and local governments. We are grateful to Reps. Mace and Lee for their dedication to working on these important issues.”


To learn more about RAINN’s public policy work to support survivors and bring perpetrators to justice, sign up to receive policy news updates.


RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting

Contact: Erinn Robinson
Director of Media Relations

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