I’m not sure when a pattern turns into a rut, but I really hope it’s no time soon. Because right now I get to watch and post John Oliver and Samantha Bee on back-to-back days to start my week, and everything is right with the world. Until Bee tells us about how many thousands of rape kits are being destroyed, without being processed, because assholes gotta asshole.
Jesus. I would ask where this completely bullshit idea that most rapes occur because some inept teenager just didn’t realize that he was raping a woman came from, but I’m pretty sure the answer starts with “r” and ends with “ape culture.”
Backing up just a little, I should probably clarify a couple of aspects. An unprocessed rape kit means that physical evidence has been collected from a rape victim, but it either hasn’t been sent to the lab to have that evidence processed or it has been sent, but the lab hasn’t gotten to it yet. In addition to being a real dick move to pull on the rape victim herself, the bigger problem is that it means no one is keeping active, accurate records of serial rapists. You know, like all of the ones who were caught after jurisdictions finally got around to clearing up their backlog. As it turns out, processing rape kits in order to find matching DNA samples is a significantly better way of reducing rapes than just believing “She’s probably lying about it.”
And before anyone MRAs or anti-feminist jumps in to explain that this is simply a matter of not having the resources, yeah, I see you, baby. It’s true that there is a lack of funds provided to departments in order to process these kits. That doesn’t make any of this less bullshit. Oh, it’s not that you don’t care enough to do the work, it’s just that you don’t care enough to make sure it’s paid for? Now I feel better!
Especially because, as the End The Backlog article states, the “lack of funds” argument only explains why kits that are at the lab haven’t been processed. It doesn’t explain all of the kits that are never even sent to the lab. Why haven’t those been processed? Because some dipshit cop some place thinks that he knows that a rape victim is lying or that the guy didn’t really mean to do it, and the cop needs to make sure that guy’s life isn’t ruined. As stated in the above video by a sheriff in Idaho.
Which is of course the most infuriating part. You personally don’t believe that most rape victims were actually raped? Great. Process the kits. We know that most rapists commit more than one rape before they’re caught. If you find a DNA sample in multiple women, you can start looking for that particular serial rapist. Even, for a second, buying into that asshole sheriff’s bullshit idea that rapes are just cases where “things went too far, and someone got scared,” you can find the recklessly oblivious son of a bitch and teach him a good, long lesson on consent. I mean, it’s not like anyone could deny a serial rapist when multiple women come forward with rape accusations. That would just be crazy, right? Right?!
Fuck. Guess we’ve got a lot more work to do.