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Budget Earmarks Millions for Rape Kit Testing

Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States of America (AP Photo)

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WASHINGTON (AURN) -- The Obama Administration is focusing on violence against women particularly efforts to solve old rape cases that have been backlogged. The money to do so is proposed in President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 budget.  

Meantime, the president's $3.9 trillion budget, released Tuesday, has been met with opposition by Republicans. In a statement, House Budget committee chair Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called the budget a disappointment.  Ryan said,  “This budget isn’t a serious document; it’s a campaign brochure.

From the White House:

 

FACT SHEET: Combatting Violence against Women 

**Funding in the President’s FY 2015 Budget Aims to Reduce Backlog of Untested Rape Kits and Assist Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases**

Sexual violence is more than just a crime against individuals. It threatens our families, it threatens our communities; ultimately, it threatens the entire country. It tears apart the fabric of our communities. And that’s why we’re here today -- because we have the power to do something about it as a government, as a nation. We have the capacity to stop sexual assault, support those who have survived it, and bring perpetrators to justice.

President Obama, January 22, 2014

Freedom from sexual assault is a basic human right… a nation’s decency is in large part measured by how it responds to violence against women… our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grandmothers have every single right to expect to be free from violence and sexual abuse.

Vice President Biden, January 22, 2014

WHAT THE PRESIDENT’S FY 2015 BUDGET DELIVERS:

A New Grant Program to Test More Rape Kits and Improve Sexual Assault Investigations. A rape kit is the forensic evidence, including DNA, collected from a survivor by a nurse or doctor after a rape or sexual assault occurs. It can be vital to successfully investigating these crimes and holding perpetrators accountable. 

When a rape kit is tested, a unique DNA profile can often be identified and submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which includes nationwide DNA samples from crime scenes, convicted offenders, and arrestees. DNA from crimes like rape and sexual assault can be matched to other samples in the database, identifying assailants and linking crimes together. A rape kit can identify an unknown attacker, confirm the identity of a known suspect, affirm a survivor’s story, and help catch serial rapists before they strike again.

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