Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris revealed her plan Thursday to eliminate the backlog of more than 225,000 untested rape kits by the end of her first term as president.
“The federal government can and should prioritize justice for survivors of sex abuse, assault and rape,” Harris’s campaign wrote in a statement.
In addition to investing $1 billion into testing the backlogged rape kits, Harris’s proposal would enact measures to prevent future backlogs from occurring, reported Newsweek. Accordingly, states would receive funding to assist law enforcement in testing rape kits more quickly as well as keeping victims up-to-date with the status of their tests.
“My plan to close the nationwide rape kit backlog would cost about $2 million less each year than what taxpayers have spent on Trump’s golf trips,” Harris tweeted. “It’s time we had someone in the White House who is committed to fighting for survivors, not protecting predators.”
My plan to close the nationwide rape kit backlog would cost about $2 million less each year than what taxpayers have spent on Trump’s golf trips. It’s time we had someone in the White House who is committed to fighting for survivors, not protecting predators.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 11, 2019
Harris’s plan would mandate four reforms: require states to annually report the number of untested rape kits, require testing within a short time frame, give survivors the right to know the status of their rape kits and increase the availability of rape kits nationwide. (RELATED: Liz Cheney Calls Out Kamala Harris For The ‘Fundamental Fraud’ She Espouses: ‘You Can’t Be For The People’)
“As California’s attorney general, I committed resources and attention to clearing a backlog of 1,300 untested rape kits at state-run labs, and we got it done within my first year in office,” the statement continued. “We need the same focus at the national level to pursue justice and help hold predators accountable.”
Interestingly, Harris abstained from co-sponsoring the “Debbie Smith Act of 2019,” which provides more resources for state and local law enforcement agencies to test rape kits and perform further forensic analyses of crime scenes.
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