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Debbie Smith

New data emerges on rape kit backlogs in four U.S. cities

NEW YORK - Thousands of rape kits remain untested in four major U.S. cities, according to new data on rape kit backlogs released on Friday by the Joyful Heart Foundation.

The charity, founded by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay to assist survivors of sexual assault, said it used public records requests to obtain data showing the number of untested kits in police storage facilities in Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Seattle and Tulsa.

"This new data reminds us that we still have so much more to learn about the extent of the rape kit backlog in the United States," said Sarah Tofte director of policy and advocacy at the Joyful Heart Foundation, in a statement.