As the 83rd Legislature kicked off Tuesday, one state lawmaker intends to find funding this session to process as many as 20,000 untested rape kits across the Lone Star State.
In 2011, Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis filed a bill that ordered law enforcement agencies to audit the rape kit evidence still on their shelves, “and for them either to be tested by the agencies that have them in their control or that they be turned over to the Department of Public Safety so that we can begin that process," Sen. Davis said.
According to DPS, about 15,900 kits have been counted so far, but by some estimates, that number could go as high as 20,000.
"For each of those kits, there's a victim who suffered a tremendous trauma who hasn't brought justice to her case yet,” Sen. Davis said.
At the federal level, Senator John Cornyn filed a bill called the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry, or SAFER. If it becomes law, it would pay for more than 400,000 untested kits, nationwide.
Officials tell YNN, not all kits are sent to be processed, for legal reasons.