RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden visited Baltimore, Maryland to announce $41 million dollars in funding to help police departments test rape kits nationwide.
A rape kit is used to collect evidence from the body and clothing of a victim of rape or sexual assault. It generally contains tools such as swabs, tubes, glass slides, containers, and plastic bags.
An 8News Investigation revealed there are more than 2,300 untested kits in Virginia alone. Advocates say these kits can help identify assailants, lead to convictions and take rapists off the street.
The grants are part of a first-of-it’s kind bill approved last year. The departments have until May 7th to apply for the federal funding.
The Richmond Police Department has 257 rape kits sitting in storage and they’ve never been tested for DNA. That is the most out of any department in our region.
8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien will have more on this story. Watch her full report on 8News at 5 p.m.