SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri Attorney General has been visiting several cities across the state to see how hospitals and police stations are doing with untested rape kits.
Many rape kits have been sumitted to a crime lab, but they have not been tested yet.
Eric Schmitt, Missouri Attorney General, visited Mercy and learned about the hospital’s untested rape kits saying, “I mean it sincerely that when they’re coming to you, it’s in a very desperate and vulnerable time, and so your credibility and leadership is really important, we’re just glad to have you working with us.”
Dawn Day, the hospital’s sexual assault program coordinator explains the resources needed to tackle the backlog of rape in the state and said, “You have to have the people to do the work. There’s enough heart and soul and want, enough compassion to want to do the work, but you need bodies to be able to be there. We need enough sexual assault nurses to care for the amount of victims that we had on a 24-hour continuum. You need enough people in law enforcement to solve the crimes. You need enough people in the crime lab to test the kits.”
Attorney General Schmitt also visited the police department to see all the untested kits for himself saying, “The Springfield Police Department has been a great partner in this, the chief is part of that working group, and we wanted to make sure we reached out across the state and bring in as many people as we can.”
If you are a victim and want to know more about the rape kits anonymously, the sexual assault hotline is 800-656-HOPE.