Tennessee Voter Project Speaks Out on Rape Kit Testing Backlog

Advocate Andy

Group laments months-long delay in testing of rape kits, calls for action, resources

The Tennessee Voter Project, a group dedicated to voter education and information on a range of state political issues, is speaking out on the current backlog in testing for rape kits in the state. Following a report that it often takes the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation several months to test rape kits due to a current lack of staff and resources, the group called for action to improve testing times.

The group noted this lack of testing means victims go without receiving justice and criminals go free.

"The reason the TBI is not testing rape kits is simple," said TVP. "They just haven’t received the state funding they need to test in a timely matter. Sadly, this lapse means that some cases go unresolved. Some criminals avoid justice."

Tennessee Voter Project then suggested that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Martin will push for meaningful change on the issue.

Specifically, the group cited a recent statement from Martin on the issue:

“Governor Bill Lee fails to take sexual assault seriously and underfunds current investigations. We sadly live in a state where you could be forced to have your rapist’s baby before your rape kit comes back from TBI’s crime lab. This is Governor Lee’s Tennessee.”

Martin was referring to Tennessee's near total ban on abortion, including the fact that the state's current abortion laws contain no exceptions in cases where a woman becomes pregnant from the crime of rape. In fact, the law effectively contains no exceptions at all.

Martin has pledged to provide additional resources to TBI for testing rape kits.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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