Rape legislation proposed

U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, and Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, have introduced legislation to address obstacles faced by rape victims, such as the unavailability of rape counselors and a lack of rape kits, which are used to gather evidence.

H.R. 4114 is also intended to do something about a national backlog of rape kits that have been used but never processed. In other words, the kits contain evidence that, for budgetary reasons or a lack of trained people to process the kits, is out of reach of police. Maloney puts the number of such unprocessed kits at more than 180,000 across the nation.

In a prepared statement released by Maloney’s office, Heller said, “It is imperative that Congress give law enforcement the resources necessary to keep our communities safe. DNA analysis has proven to be an essential tool for solving crimes across the country. This legislation could help solve cases nationwide and bring closure to victims and families. I am pleased to join Congresswoman Maloney in bipartisan support of this very important legislation.”