Advocates say don’t let rape kit backlog deter being tested

The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - July 9, 2018 9:57 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Advocates for women in Oklahoma say a recent focus on untested rape kits in the state shouldn’t deter anyone from getting examined.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office tallied more than 7,000 rape kits that law enforcement agencies had not sent for laboratory exams. The Oklahoman reports some of the kits date as far back as 1980.

YWCA Oklahoma City staffer Karla Docter says women who have been assaulted should still come forward to be tested and not be discouraged by the backlog. She says reporting can be the first step toward healing.

The head of forensic nursing for the Tulsa Police Department says her staff does more than collect evidence.

Kathy Bell says they help educate patients and refer them to other services.

 

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