Mo. — A “significant” amount of progress is being made to gather all untested rape kits in Missouri.
That’s according to Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who launched the ‘safe kits’ initiative back in February.
In Jefferson City today, representatives from law enforcement, healthcare, and advocacy organizations across the state gathered to discuss the effort to clear out the backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.
The goal is to gather an inventory, test those kits, implement a tracking system for the future, and prosecute the offenders.
Springfield police Chief Paul Williams is part of this effort. “When someone is victimized and they submit to examination results and the sexual assault kit being collected, that that is then processed and put in the system and tracked, and all the parties are working together to support that victim, and then once again holding an offender accountable at the back end is so important.”
Since February, the attorney general’s office has collected information regarding the backlog from 79 percent of Missouri hospitals and 45 percent of law enforcement agencies.