tv Mariska Hargitay Testifies on Combating Sexual Assault CSPAN June 16, 2017 9:06am-11:00am EDT
misfire and i announced the formation of the task force to end sexual violence in april. sexual awareness month. with the goal of highlighting these issues in congress and educating our self and peers about the challenges our nation faces and the ways we as representatives of the people can help combat sexual violence in its many forms. i know my colleagues on these task forces have their own reasons for being here but for me i want to be involved because i saw this problem firsthand in my years as a prosecuting attorney in ohio. two topics we have decided on the roundtable on or sexual assault and access to nurses. the sexual assault kit, the jewel use to collect evidence by a survivor after an assault. these examinations are completed by a medical professional as specifically trained sexual assault new nurse examiner also known as the scene nurse . the purpose of this again is
to collect any genetic evidence that may have been left behind by an attacker. the problem is our nation faces a backlog of hundreds of thousands of kids . the backlog as a result of factors such as testing procedures, outdated equipment, unclear guidelines, lack of training, budget restrictions and generally a large caseload. these kits represent victims, victims who are still waiting for justice. that is why this issue is a priority for this task force. we understand without trained nurses we are unable to collect the necessary evidence to go after the perpetrators. in a very special panel of witnesses today, first we are pleased to welcome miss mariskahargitay , most of all if you don't know her, detective lidia benson on law and order sv you and as i told her this morning, a reason my daughter is now finishing her first year of law school is because she wants to follow up on the work you portrayed on tv. what she does behind-the-scenes, what she does is a real-life advocate for victims of sexual
assault. as an actress, actor and advocate miss mariska hargitay has dedicated her talents to be an inspiration and force for change. parole is detective benson on law and order, she was awakened to the weight that survivors of domestic assault carried, the weight of shame, pain, fear, darkness, judgment and isolation. inspired by their courage, she decided be part of multiple education awareness campaigns for joyful heart and other organizations. she's made public service announcements and the rape kit backlog, prevent child abuse and engage men to end violence and abuse. she has found that many public service announcement with nbc's the more you know campaign and got milk. her voice for victim service organizations to raise financial support for their programs. committed to ending violence, caring for those who have survived it, mariska spends
as much time on screen dealing with these crimes as she did bucking purpose through her role as detective benson. she is pleased to speak with us and we look forward to hearing from you. i like to welcome our next victim advocate, virginia masters, a native of texas, mixmaster's is a loving mother and author, speaker, radio host and sexual assault survivor. she serves as a volunteer in sexual assault response team for dentoncounty friends of the family of rate councils centers , a network and a spokesperson for the dallas police department sexual assault cold case program. ms. masters is the director of the sexual abuse and powering ministry and the survivor initiative. ms. masters, we're honored to have you speak with us and we're looking forward to your testimony. our next witness mister nathan james is an analyst of crime politics for the congressional research service, focusing on issues
including state and local law enforcement, crime statistics and forensic science. his recent published work focused on commerce justice and related agencies appropriation with a focus on appropriations for the department of justice, needs assessment in criminal justice systems, the role of government in producing reform and increases in violent crime in cities across the united states and the law enforcement militarization. we're glad to have your expert knowledge with us here and look forward to working with you. i'm pleased to announce the next two witnesses, my good friend mike o'malley and chief bell who i've known from my days as prosecutor and thank you for traveling all the way from cleveland. november 2016 mike o'malley was elected prosecuting attorney of calhoun county, the largest office in the state of ohio. 144 that's. i've got to admit i know he knows it well having been achieved for many years running the program and made a lot of other prosecutors
and elected officials look good while doing so so i'm glad to see you have the rains yourself. his office has nearly 12,000 defendants on charges as well as 7000 juvenile complaints annually. hired to taking office mister o'malley served his first assistant safety director for the cleveland city councilman. he began his career as the cleveland probation officer while attending law school at night. the bell is super site has been an assistant prosecutor for 27 years and is the special investigations division chief overseeing the following forces, cold case homicide, human trafficking, internet crimes against and sexual assault task force. mister bell supervisor unit including major crime unit, and community-based protection unit. i'm glad both of you could be here today and look forward to your testimony. last but not least, doctor jennifer markowitz, she hails from the international association of nurses, doctor
markowitz is a nursing consultant who specializes in issues related to sexual assault and strangle asian including medical, forensic examinations and professional education and curriculum development. in addition to teaching workshops around the world she provides expert testimony, consultation and technical assistance to develop training materials and publications in forensic nurse examiners since 1995 doctor markowitz serves us back to the expert consultant for the jagged core of the us army, navy, marine corps and coast guard.in 2004 she was named thing was fellow of the association of forensic nurses. in 2012 she servedas president. thank you very much for being here and we look forward to your testimony. i'll hand it over to my cochairs or their opening statements , miss custer. >> thank you very much and i want to thank everyone for being with us for the kick off of our bipartisan congressional task force to end sexual violence. living and i had a moment before but i'm delighted to haveeveryone with us .
mariska hargitay, thank you for your leadership on this issue and for your advocacy for speaking out. i'm delighted to have michael o'malley and richard bell with us. we got a lot to learn and hopefully good practices to share. jennifer markowitz and nathan, thank you for the work you do. david said that his reason for being here, my reason for being here is that over 40 years ago as an undergraduate in college i was assaulted. a few years after that i was working in staff on capitol hill, jackie and i were working in offices next door to each other and i was what we now know to be sexually harassed, i guess we had a name for it back then and a few months after that i was attacked walking home on capitol hill and luckily was able to get away.
but the reason i bring these up is that not about my story but because it's really so common. i didn't tell anyone any of these stories for 40 years. i didn't tell my husband, i didn't tell my sons, i didn't tell my own family and the reason i now understand his because i thought that it was my fault. i thought that i was in the wrong place, i had done the wrong thing. it didn't make any sense to me in my 20s why it would be my fault . and it's taken me 40 years to understand that it certainly was not and i really appreciate and i said if our generation had been more courageous and had spoken up, but now i'm dedicating my life and i'm delighted to be here with my colleagues in a bipartisan way. men and women coming together, our staff has done an extraordinary job. young men and women, the time
is now and mariska said this morning we had a moment and we can really change the world so our intention is to bring together members of congress to put legislation and initiatives to address actual violence in some of the areas we intend to tackle k-12 education, college campus safety, military sexual trauma, online harassment and improved data collection in law enforcement training but we're starting here today with the rape kit backlog because we understand that this is really at the core and mariska said it so well this morning, it's a demonstration we are not hearing about, victims, survivors of sexual assault, men and women. after experiencing the trauma of sexual assault in an intensely personal, forensic evidence exam, no survivors should experience the pain and disruption of having their sexual assault kit act log. there's no other crime that we would do this, not process
the evidence. but failure to test backlog sexual assault kit allows rapists to remain on the street and puts more people at risk and we know this to be true from the evidence of communities that have gone back to test and i think we will hear from mariska and others about what we learned about serial predators. i'm encouraged by previous federal bipartisanefforts , the sexual assault initiative which enabled communities to keep their backlogs, reengage with survivors and bring sexual assault predators to justice. thomas must continue to find these programs, to build on the progress we have made reducing the sexual assault kit backlog and funding is important and we will be prepared to discuss that with you. i'm eager to explore the important topics of access to sexual assault nurse examiners, better known as seen nurses.
those provides for survivors with compassionate trauma informed support for their short and long-term recovery. unfortunately in communities across this country and particularly in rural communities such as my district in new hampshire, many survivors do not have access to see nurses and i love to explore ways that we can make that available. congress owes it to survivors to ensure that everyone has access to a scene nurse so thank you for being here, but my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and i look forward to this discussion. ideal back. >> thank yourepresentative , representative liam if you would have an opening statement? >> i want to thank my colleagues for being part of the bipartisan task force and identifying this full gamut of important issues that we want to collectively address but i can't think of anything that is more important for us to kick it off then this important issue that has this distinguished panel before us
today so i thank you each for your presence here today but honestly i thank you for your dedication to this issue through your professional work. as a former prosecutor, we have had the ability or the opportunity i think to engage with victims on a broad spectrum of issues but in my own sense there was really nothing more dehumanizing than someone who has had to go through the crime of being sexually assaulted in and of itself. and it's a different type of victim that any other we deal with because i think as representative custer and others have discussed, nobody considers himself if they are robbed on the side of the street as somehow participants and yet we so often see the victims beginning to question what their role and relationship is to this so how we respond is every bit as important to
that victim as the mechanics of this process that we are going through. and we i think have also seen some progress in this area, certainly from my time as a prosecutor about a decade ago to where we are today. but we also know there's a long way to go, and i want to thank mariska hargitay and your organization, the joyful heart which has looked at the issue of rape kit backlogs, something we will hear that we do experience by virtue of your professional work but those who open themselves to you and that's often what we find is this once somebody has a place to go, these stories are overwhelming in the form of not just the emotion but the search for a
place to help give me some closure but not even closure. i think it's the issue, give me back control. this thing that was stolen from me. and i thank you for allowing us to go onthis journey together . i will note and i hope everyone here will pay attention to a film that was put together by miss hargitay and was released last night. i am evidence to what is identified together as remarkable response. i wish you luck as you move forward and continue to use that as a springboard for victims who have experienced this and where we need to go to continue. jennifer markowitz, i want to thank you for your work in this space because one of the most important places we made progress is with the sexual assault nurse examiners and again, it goes to that first experience post trauma and how somebody is engaged and
the importance of us not only being able to collect the evidence but the humiliating process of what could be a 5 to 6 hourprocedure . we close with the idea that having had that procedure and now you've been doubly victimized, what happens with that evidence? and if after going through all of that we leave it sitting on a shelf, we have been part of the process and lastly, michael malloy. i want to thank you for your dedication in your office because you are demonstrating there is an interest on the part of law enforcement and so many to do this right. most offices what to do what's right for the victim. some things are just issues of resources, sometimes
there's not an appreciation for what you can tell us how we been able to do this better and what we can continue to do to close it so i want to thank this remarkably experienced panel, bringing a broad perspective in my colleagues for putting this issue front and center and it couldn't be more timely and miss hargitay, i wish you and others will allow us to continue to press forward not only from this hearing but more collectively on this issue and i thank you and you'll back thank you very much and now representative sphere. >> thank you. after this particularly traumatic week for all of us, it is really very soothing to me personally that we have a bipartisan group of members here focused on a very important issue so i want to thank my colleagues all for being here and being part of this very important effort. i want to especially thank living a masters, a victims survivor who is here because
it is very hard to have to recall that experience over and over again and for our star-studded panel who are here, miss hargitay if it weren't for you the joyful foundation wouldn't be here. i am evidence wouldn't be filled and we are deeply grateful for your long-term commitment to this issue. i look around this room and there are mostly women here. and we know the statistics that one in four women are probably going to be sexually assaulted in their lives and if we look at your faces, we know that some of you have. and i wish we would have as many men in this room as we have women in this room because this issue will not be fully addressed until we have a complete understanding by both sexes of what really
goes on. over 30 years ago, i was then a county supervisor and one of the deputy das came in to meet with me and said we're having a terrible time getting convictions on rape cases. and i said tell me what the problem is. one of the problems was that there wasn't a comprehensive investigation done and an actual evaluation of the victim when they came into the emergency room. there was an issue around the chain of custody of the evidence and so that started my effort to try and address the issue, the conviction rate went way up so when there's commitment by people, to do the right thing, we can do the right thing. there is no clear demonstration of our countries lack of regard for sexual assault survivors then
ignoring the growth backlog of sexual assault cases. we would never, ever let the dna in a murder case sit on the shelf and yet, it is commonplace to let the dna of sexual assault victims sit on the shelf. the backlog of kits, the bureaucratic discrimination against survivors and lack of sufficient sexual assault response teams and sexual assault nurse examiners is an injustice committed against women because they are women. and we must refuse to let this injustice stand. i feel the back. >> thank you, i now recognize miss hargitay for opening statements. >> good morning.
i just want to start by saying thank you so much for your heartfelt comments and your passion to do this work. i'm mariska hargitay and i'm speaking to you today as the president and founder of the joyful heart foundation. i just want to thank the task force for making the rape kit backlog the topic of your first briefing. by elevating this issue you are sending a powerful message to survivors of sexual assault that their cases matter. they matter. you are demonstrating to law enforcement and prosecutors that we must work to do everything we can to hold offenders accountable and keep our communities safe. you have my statement on record so i'd like to use my time today to focus on how far we have come in addressing the untested rape kit backlog in recent years in that discussion cannot begin without acknowledging the significant seachange that is happening across this country heated by the actions
of the federal government. in 2014, congress created the sexual assault kit initiative to provide jurisdictions the critical needed resources to test backlog to kits, create multidisciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute related cases and address the need for victim notification and re-engagement with the criminal justice system. the impact of grants cannot be overstated. we have heard from law enforcement and prosecutors that the funds as well as the requirement to create a team to undertake systemic reform are bringing communities together like never before. these focused resources are helping law enforcement get serial criminals off the street . easing the burden on personnel. facilitating community engagement and making neighborhoods safer. we have heard the same feedback from victim
advocates, sons are helping agencies already stretched thin to implement reform and catalyze possible positive changes. i first testified in congress about the rape kit backlog and may thousand 10. the national landscape today is very different. then, we had no idea how many untested rape kits were sitting on shelves in police storage facilities and crime labs. advocates said gas was an estimated 400,000 but now that number is disputed. the reality is that because most jurisdictions do not have systems for tracking of counting rape kits, we cannot be sure of the total number. however, through public record requests, investigative journalism, grassroots advocacy and state legislative reform, we are beginning to understand the
scope of the backlog nationwide. since 2010 more than 200,000 untested rape kits have been accounted for and 21 states and washington dc passed laws requiring audits on tested kits. when i testified in 2010 there were no state rape kits reform laws on the books. today, that fund has shifted. since january 1, 2017, 71 rape kit reform bills have been introduced in 32 states. and 10 states have laws. joyful heart has launched a national campaign to pass comprehensive rape kit reform legislation in all 50 states . by 2020. since 2010, 30 states have enacted some type of rape kit reform andlast week , texas came the first state in the nation to end all six pillars of our national best practices. through grants we are also seeing a change in law enforcement understanding of
the of trauma survivors. restrictions now understand these important perspective and are limiting trauma informed victim centered notification practices that seek to avoid re-victimization and further harm. although we have seen progress there is still much more work to be done. today, only eight states have laws requiring testing of those kind of backlog kits. that means in most states, the decision to send kits for testing is left up to the discretion of an individual. we must reverse that trend to ensure that every kit connected to a reported case is testing. the numbers don't lie. testing all kits can solve crime and saves lives. survivors legislative district cannot determine the outcome of their case or their rights to him information.
on behalf of ... thank you. on behalf of all survivors across the country, i thank you for your attention on this issue and i look forward to continuing this dialogue. i know that you join me in commending the jurisdictions taking responsibility for reform and together, we are committed to raising awareness on those who have not. thank you. >> thank you very much miss hargitay. ms. masters? >> good morning. i am lavinia masters and i am a survivor of rape and i am an advocate now.
i always like to start out that my victimization was three-part. the first part was the actual violent rape where my perpetrator, kevin lynn turner, i love sharing his name because i used the afraid to even speak about him but now the shame is on him, it's no longer on me so kevin lynn turner decided he would come into my home one night when i was on the couch and raped me violently at knife point. i was 13 years old at the time. it was hard because as a child, you're supposed to feel safe in your home. especially when your family is there. but kevin lynn turner decided he was going to attack me, but a knife to my throat. he could have taken my life so that was the first part of my victimization. second part was when the police came out and i had to go to park memorial hospital and do the exam.
it was tedious, to me they were insensitive, your boyfriend, you let him in the window. the questions they asked me, a kind of help me feel like it was my fault.the things that happened to me on that night. the third part of my victimization was to find out 20 something years later that my rape kit was sitting on the shelf. that police were looking high and low but the guy that raped me, surely you had some concern for a child that was raped in the middle of the night. surely you didn't discriminate against my skin color, didn't discriminate against me as a female, didn't discriminate against my age or gender. surely you would look for the rapist that tried to almost take the life of a child. i was disappointed with that. and here i am, over 30 something years and at that point in my life i sent three strikes, you are out, no more. i will not stand for this or
allow this to happen to another victim in the land where i live and where i'm supposed to feel safe and where i give my life and i give my everything to be a part of this country.>> kevin turner made me believe in myself. you made me believe in werewolves, made me believe these monsters will attack you and once they attack victims, we take on these hideous formations of ourselves. we become dark, we get in these places that nobody understand. you begin to look at us differently. i thought i was a straight a student over the summer when he raped me in 1985. when i went back to school i was different. something was wrong with me. i didn't understand it myself worldwide my grades began to go down. i didn't understand why i look at people differently or i didn't understand things i
was going through. i didn't have the services or counseling or anyone to reach out and say it's going to be okay, we're going to get through. i had to try to make it happen all on my own. my parents didn't understand. >> i'm thankful today to be here. i began to chase the monster myself and i wore a mask throughout my pretending something i wasn't i want, wanting to live my life to the fullest but i couldn't. but i'm thankful once again for the rape kit long and the justice system and the past
centers i've worked with and being an advocate because i'm in a better place now and am excited about work your doing and i'm here for you and i'm here for all victims and just like with hurricane katrina i said i'm going back and i'm going to rescue and be a voice and am going to let them know that we are survivors. i'm empowering today because of things like this, the bipartisan task force. we decided were going to stick together and put everything else aside because your life matters to me. my life matters. >> i don't care what anybody else says, my life matters to me. i wore a mask for for too long, i'm free and i'm here and i'm going to use my voice and i want to smile and i'm happy about everything i do, everything i answer. my life matters, every victim's life matters that's what i'm here to say and i'm so excited to be a part of this and i thank you for your passion today. [applause]
>> thank you ms. masters and i think i speak on behalf of all of us, we appreciate you being here with us today sharing your story and apologize for what took place 27 years. >> that's why we're here today. >> ib misses this point if i didn't introduce othermembers of our panel, representative , o'halloran and representative debbie wasserman schultz who joins us here today. >> all right, and now to mister james for his testimony, thank you.your opening statements. >>. >> congressman joyce, congressman custer, congressman spear and meehan. >> better? number.
>> yes. okay. i want to thank you for inviting me today to the department of justice's efforts to reduce cricket backlogs. increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners. >> before i begin, i should note that national guidelines on objectivity, nonpartisanship, require me to confine my remarks to the technical, professional and nonprofit aspects of the matter under consideration and interest bipartisan task force. i can discuss the oj programs related to rickett backlogs, i can also respond to questions from task force members but i am limited to addressing issues within my field of expertise and i cannot answer questions from the public. doj has several programs specifically targeted at reducing rickett backlogs and expanding number of same. sexual assault initiatives cries for inventory in testing rape kits, applying designated personnel to work investigatenew leads ,
supporting victims, developing evidence tracking systems, training law enforcement on sexual assault investigations. sexual assault forensic evidence inventory tracking and reporting programs provides funds to inventory existing rickets, track them as they move forward toward this position and provide the public with data on how they are being processed. however, grants under this testing for rickett. >> so by 2010, congress appropriated funding for a sexual assault forensic exam program so that we can use for the purpose specified in section 3 or four of the justice for all act which authorizedgrants training , technical assistance, education and equipment related to the collection and analysis of dna samples by medical personnel and those treating victims of sexual assault which include saint.
doj has several programs where funds can be used for reducing backlogs or hiring the same but these are not the sole purposes or the focus of the program. ask for example, and i gave capacity enhanced backlog reduction program provides funding for analyzing dna samples and increasing the capacity of public laboratories. one aspect of this program could be used to analyze biological evidence collected as part of a sexual assault kit and committed to a crime lab for analysis. in addition, funds and their own vw's stock grant program may be among other things used to identify and conduct rape kit backlogs and develop policy for responding to those backlogs and training medical personnel in the collection and preservation of evidence of sexual assault cases. finally, the oj had some programs like the project program which provides funding for a variety of criminal justice purposes and while funds under these programs be used for reducing
rickett backlogs or supporting the same, these are not the specified purposes of the program. again, thank you for your invitation to break the task force and i look forward to any questions you might have. >> thank you mister james and let me assure you this isn't about politics, this is about justice and my representative built wasserman schultz and i say you are appropriators and we are not democrats or republicans, we're appropriators, here to do the right thing so i appreciate your limitations but feel free to answer questions compounding. saying that also, we also have another group. we are just prosecutors or former prosecutors or prosecutor wannabes so we all appreciate and it's amazing how it cuts through party lines and when we talk about things like heroism and things like sexual assault, it doesn't stop at one county's borders. that's why i appreciate our next witness, prosecutor o'malley and the work that his office has done in
fighting funds within his own department to make sure that we try to process those backlogs. i recognize prosecutor o'malley for his opening statements. >> that you cochairman joyce and esteemed members of this committee. in county county and i'm going to add live but we are ahead of the curve because initial grants by the department of justice. in 2007 and 2009, the department of justice gave cuyahoga county money to begin investigating cold case homicides. we used that, it was also geared towards dna evidence. we use that money to look at homicides with sexual motivation. and as a result of that we had ended up solving 17 homicides in 14 rates.
in 2009 in the city of cleveland we had a horrendous crime committed by an individual by the name of anthony soul over the course of a number of years. he brutally raped and murdered 11 women in the city of cleveland. as a result of that crime, and the deficiencies demonstrated through the criminal justice system, the focus was shined upon the issue of rape kits within our county. within cuyahoga county alone there was 5000 untested rape kits sitting on the shelves of law enforcement. a number that's inexcusable and really understandable. through the state of ohio we had 14,000 rape kits that had been sitting on shelves. but because we had those initial department of justice grants and because we had investigators hired who were predominantly retired police officers and because we were geared this, all efforts were put into an issue by attorney
general mike dewine started a program through the state of ohio. testing all rickets within the state. he provided funding and a statewide level, cuyahoga county continued to receive grants so that we can hire investigators. we had 5000 kits but we had 6700 actual assault incidences that we needed to investigate. currently of those 6700 cases which is almost unimaginable, the victims out there who have not yet received justice within our county, we have processed 3700 investigations. again, we have a task force now that starting from a civil department of justice grants in 2007. that includes representatives from the state attorney general's office , local police agencies, our county sheriff's apartment, we have representatives from the
cleveland rape crisis center embedded within our task force to assist victims and to the other we have a collaborative effort to investigate these brutal crimes. seek justice for the victims and close out these cases on behalf of the residents we all serve. while this was going on, representatives from the state of ohio assisted us in this endeavor by passing state laws, one that moved back the statute of limitations to 25 years area also mandated that if anybody arrested for a felony offense in the state of ohio would immediately see the vehicle swap so that we can put that into the system to assist us in solving these crimes. >>. >> again, what we have accomplished within our own county could not have been accomplished without the
assistance of the federal government. as many of the representatives or former prosecutors, law enforcement is tasked with handling the current issues, let alone trying to go back 20 years in dealing with issues from 20 years ago but we must do it. on behalf of all these victims. and so while we move forward, we are doing the best we can in our own county and through the state of ohio but we continue to need assistance from the federal government in our efforts to bring justice before 14,000 cases from our state. >> i want to thank you for your time, i want to thank you for your leadership in this position and our panelists, in particular are victims out there who have like miss masters have found the courage to come forward. >> and represents all victims out there. who need our help. i just want to thank the panel today. >> thank you for being here.
prosecutor o'malley and also i'd like to recognize at this time the distinguished lady from michigan, debbie dingell who has joined us here as a member of our panel as well. and again, moving on, doctor martin if you would like to. >> my name is jennifer markowitz, a forensic nurse examiner and past president of the international association of forensic nurses and current chair of the governor affairs committee. i want to think here german meehan and joyce and members of the bipartisan task force. the opportunity to you today about the work of sexual assault nurse examiners and sexual assault forensic examiners and the challenges asians face in gaining access to our services. >> ifn is a professional organization of nurses who provide specialized health care for patients affected by violence and trauma. >> establish and provide the
practice and education for forensic nurses. our members have the knowledge and expertise to decrease short and long-term health consequences of violence, improved patient recovery and lower healthcare costs. forensic nurses integrate the need for patients into our overall medical evaluation and treatment in a seamless process and provide medical testimony in court when necessary and consult legal authorities as well as other members of the multidisciplinary team. actual assault nurse examiners are the most is when we nursing. studies reveal medical forensic examination conducted by the same result more positive experience in healthcare system and are significantly associated with increased prosecution rates for these particular crimes. my testimony today will highlight priority areas as we strive to provide specialized quality care to sexual assault patients across the country.
one expanding access to same services, enhancing attainability through funding of the continuing education and three a broadening public understanding of services. in regards to expanding access as clinicians we understand the importance of comprehensive sexual assault medical for forensic examinations and readily accessible to patients across the united states. although there is recognition that they are the optimal healthcare provider providing facilities and assault, percent of possible emergencies including those in designated level i trauma centers are available. level i trauma centers are able to manage virtually every aspect availability of care by a variety of facilities. the only aspect missing from the requirement for level ii center is the sexual assault specialist.
at a minimum processes to be in place to ensure all adults and level i and level ii trauma centers by prompt access to same, 24 hours a day, seven days a week regardless of reeducation. this can be accomplished through on-site services, contracts with community basing programs to respond to patients who been sexually assaulted or formalized transfer agreements with area programs either hospitals or community-based to ensure rapid response to these patients. in doing so a majority of americans would have access to same services expanding ability in rural areas. the second point regarding enhancing sustainability funding community education is a significant concern for us. sustainability requires that we put money into both expanding same programs as well as moving into new patient populations,
healthcare systems and organizations. while there may be agency support for starting new programs or grant dollars available for initial education, running is also needed for continuing education. competency and currency of practice and with other healthcare specialties, access to the nearest technology and familiarity with the state of the science ensures patients are provided high-quality care. continuing education also benefits the criminal justice system with access to agents able to testify to the fullest extent of their clinical experience. funding on education must be prioritized. too often it is left to the individuals to cover the costs. which brings me to my final point regarding public understanding of the same services. they and improve the quality of evidence in the medical forensic exam which is a
critical benefit to sexual assault patients. however, the sexual assault collection kit is only one aspect of the patient encounter and it's vital that we recognize as much for their ability to provide confidence of healthcare as our ability to provide detailed evidence collection and maintain chain of custody. researchers identified myriad health issues that occur at higher rates in sexual assault patients then not assaulted counterparts. they have the ability to attend to the unique health care needs of patients, connect patients with follow-up resources and referrals for long-term medical issues and collaborate with professionals within the medical community and with ancillary discipline to target individualized care of sexual assault patients across the lifespan. research is greatly needed to understand how outcomes differ with special assault care when that is provided. it's clear that patients receive the same care have been improved criminal out outcomes, there's no research to provide data related to
healthcare outcomes. i hope you'll give consideration to what i shared. i appreciate your time and are willing to answer any questions from the task force, thank you so much . >> thank you and lastly mister bell, you have an opening statement you'd like to say? >> thank you cochairs, david joyce and jackie spear, distinguished members of the subcommittee for the opportunity to testify about our work. as prosecutor o'malley highlighted, in ohio we learned we have 14,000 backlogged rape kits from a period of time between 1983 in 2009. 6700 of those were from marriott, cleveland ohio cuyahoga county area. compounding the problem is that the statute of limitations in ohio bearing down on us as prosecutors, we knew that unless we reviewed each one of these cases, we were going to run out of time on our watch.
we took it very seriously and we had sometimes one day, sometimes two hours before the grand jury time would run out and we would lose the case. in order to make the most of our resources, we understand we had to form a task force with several agencies detailing personnel to one physical location which is very important. our belief was that using multidisciplinary approach in that one location would yield the best results.because of the volume of the investigations we needed to prioritize our cases as well with decades-old cases first before losing some to time and we were able to identify many, some we were not able to identify but we were able to indict them as john don't defense using dna profiles as identification. now we are concentrating on the serial sex offenders who are out on the street or will be out of prison within one year. to give you an idea of that magnitude as well as the danger to our community, of
the 6700 rape kits being investigated, testing and review of their criminal histories reveal there are at least 670 serial sex offenders. the essence of the multidisciplinary approach is to share ideas among task force members as well as sharing ideas with other jurisdictions. our office began an annual best practices summit that continues to this day. the first summit in cleveland in 2014, memphis, 2014. and the next one will be held in portland, 2017. these four cities have very similar taskforces. the taskforces have the same name to encourage uniformity, the task force keeps statistics to measure ourselves. we work with rti international to provide data to make sense of our progress. earlier this year 's western reserve university partnered to hold another collaborative meeting of the taskforces, houston, portland, dallas, detroit, washington state and
kansas and others to discuss what statistics would and should be collected across the taskforces. we've established corporate pillars of best practices, first, test. when you test, you develop leads that solve the identity of the stranger rape cases, 86 of our serial rapists have been identified as both an acquaintance rape as well as a stranger rapists on a different case. second, swallow all felony arrestees.the more arrestees swap, the more robust and the more the victims cases you will solve. third, investigate all positive and negative rape kit reports you receive from the laboratory. we sold rape cases even on cases where there is little dna. or there is no dna because the police report have revealed their secondary pieces of evidence that you might be able to present to the lab for testing and last, investigate with a victim
centered approach. it's an important pillar of our best practices. we use victim advocates to notify and stay in contact with our victims, we found the victim notification protocol that have been reviewed by our cleveland rape crisis center as well as the joyful heart nation. testing the kits is the first step but after testing is when the very detailed work begins. you don't just indict the case once the dna is discovered so although the funding has been terrific, in order to make sure kids get tested the additional funding is needed for those investigators advocates and prosecutors to bring those cases together. all hires made a very significant investment as well, the attorney general's office, mike dewine had to put forth a $4 million investment in robotics and personnel. our office has invested $1 million per year for the effort and the attorney general's office has also invested an additional half
$1 million for personnel. the police department has invested over $100,000 a year for the effort and our counsel has invested 679,000 per year and said they would do so for the next four years that we believe that we will need to complete the project. in 2015 and 2016 we received two million-dollar grants from the department of justice to investigate and prosecute with the grant we hired 20 investigators, more victim advocates and eight prosecutors. i want to reiterate what prosecutor o'malley outline. our success again with doj funding in 2006 to establish a cold case unit. the doj funding on three separate occasions over the last 10 years has served as the foundation or all these partner contributions. without it our structure could not sustain the work we do. we parlay the money that you give us and we ask our partners to also become invested. they see that that foundation
is there and they know that we will be able to sustain the work that we do. cuyahoga county alone we tested all the rape kits submitted by the police and we are investigating all those 6700 rape cases. we completed 3726, we have less than 3000 cases to finish. we solved 661 victims of cases. and that would never have been solved or prosecuted without this effort. we have indicted 595 separate unique offenders. >>
we've added the cost of each of these indicted rapists and subsequent crimes they've been convicted of since the rape they committed. the first 593 defendants have caused $440 million in economic harm to the state of ohio. this would not have occurred had these been tested and the cases been prosecuted. what is the economic savings? only when the task force prosecutes a cases does the community realize a savings. we are fortunate to work with one the country's best research institutions. their research indicates that the tax task force is projected to produce a net
savings of $38 million to our community. the savings derived from getting these offenders off the streets before they commit further crimes. another way, every rape kit saves $893,000 in future harm. in 2011 ohio enacted a law that all arrestees are to be swapped by the police. these are felony arrestees. it happens just like your printing. it ensures identification and let's please know if their dna matches other crime scenes. there are thousands of felons whose never been arrested and we need to know how systemic
this is nationally. we believe 6000 people arrested were never swapped. swabbing all felony arrestees is crucial to solving these stranger rape cases. going back to locate and swap felons, we will need funding to solve the problem. case western study shows we realize savings when we follow up the kit testing with prosecutions of the criminals. too do that you have the proper resources. we have been blessed because the attorney general's office has tested the kids. now we are in the second phase, investigating and prosecuting. other taskforces will get to this point and they need to know the money will be there
so they can plan to follow up on the testing kits. testing is important but the real work and commitment to taxpayers only realized when funds are used to hire the personnel to do the job. if other prosecutors, police chiefs, mayors know the funding is there they can become invested to see the job through the next steps, as the state moves to test kits, funding will be needed to complete for the 1993 through 2011 cases. investigating pre-1993 rape kits, the one before the statute of limitations will solve the john doe rape cases between 1993 and 1998. providing counseling and support, hiring investigators
to swab and locate felons who are never swapped of their arrest. this will help solve cases and deter future crimes. we have some rapists who understand they will be caught. in their interviews after they have been prosecuted they realized they may be caught because of the crimes they committed and specifically said they stopped their behavior because of it. there is a deterrent effect here. they're instituting a new policy to ask to make sure defendants have been swapped. [inaudible] we are working with cleveland police to implement proper procedures to swab all felony arrestees. we would like to thank the task force for allowing us to testify. we owe our success to the
funding of the department of justice. also our partners, the police, the sheriff and rape crisis in this multidisciplinary approach. other taskforces will follow in the same put steps as long as they have the resources that you would provide. on their behalf we like to recommend this body continue to focus on this effort to end sexual violence against women nationwide. thank you very much. >> thank you mr. bell. [applause] as a former member of team justice in ohio, i'm very proud of the work you've done and i appreciate all you continue to do going forward. we like to recognize the members who've come in and we
will do this in the order of which they got here. if you have any questions. >> questions could go on for hours. thank you. i represent an area and arizona has a lot of native american and rural areas and doesn't have the type of assets discussed here today. i'm very concerned about that whole process. i'm hoping the reservations, the. capita offender case is higher than urban areas of america. my background is one i was a brief investigator and homicide investigator in the city of chicago 40 years ago. i would've thought that in our society today we would've come a lot longer way than we've had today. i was shocked when i first
heard about rape kits being left on shelves. i was shocked when i saw the lack of understanding within our society of what a victim goes through. when you have to sit somebody that has just gone through that trauma, then understanding the trauma continues throughout their life and has an impact on families and mr. bell, you mention the cost to ohio, i would think that did not include the cost of therapy for victims throughout the process of their lives and their families lives in their children's lives and the impact of their families. having been involved in government here for just six months, i was in the legislature in arizona and my staff has looked up the statistics on what occurred in
arizona and we had over 6000 cases on the shelves. i think even in 2017, we failed to pass some laws to help victims be able to get information from those test kits. i will go back, i just found this out. i think my main concern here is one, mr. bell maybe you can answer this better than i can, but as we look out into the future, how we never allow this to happen again? the cases i investigated were from very young children to the elderly. they were some of the most emotional cases you can imagine. the fact that our society is not willing or hopefully is
willing, but has had relapses time and time again. i guess my major question is how do we make sure, from a funding standpoint and coordination standpoint and information standpoint because this dna testing has to get out to the other agencies. we have to have an educational effort within society, we have to be able to understand the role that we play in making sure the victims we should of been protecting all along, what's the cost going to be for us to be able to address those issues, and i will leave that to mr. bell because you seem to have some of the best expertise in this area that i've heard. please. >> i think as they first alluded to, to begin with, the state los laws that mandate that there should be rape kit
testing, those laws have to proliferate across the country. you can't just have eight or 13, it needs to multiply and we need to start rolling along that direction. once i gets done, now there are certain restrictions, there are certain obligations the police have to have. they have to, on all new cases submit to the laboratory any rape kit within 30 days. on old backlog cases, all rape kits within one year. >> just so i don't forget, does that also have to be submitted to a national database? >> the laboratories are responsible for that once they put together a complete dna profile. >> and there's a requirement for that. >> yes. >> so that state system will attach to the federal system and you'll know whether or not you have a multistate defender. that's important but you also have to have chiefs of police
buy-in. they have to understand that solving the acquaintance rape cases, solving, the issue is the reason why rape testers were never needed to be tested before in the distant past was that if you knew the identity of the assailant, the prosecutors and the police, the juries, nobody would need to have the kit tested it was thought because you have to prove id pretty for was a date rape and the victim knew who the rapist was, that part of the case is solved. the issue was just consent. but the testing has revealed that you solve the stranger rape cases because the stranger rapists who are dangerous offenders, sure enough they are mean people to the people they know. they are jerks to the people they know those cases are having suspects. as you test all caps, then you
can actually solve those unsolved cases, the stranger cases because you look into the police reports on the other cases and you see the name. that's important. the police chief's and the police departments have to realize the true value there is out there and they need to become involved. the other thing is, why it works in many of the different jurisdictions is because there's oversight over the police on these old cases. there's someone else is also working on those cases. whether it's the prosecutor's office in our jurisdiction for the mayor's office in shelby county and memphis tennessee or in detroit, you have to have a multidisciplinary approach where you have other people watching them work together and that's important. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, just a quick statement.
as this committee works, i believe we've just scratched the surface where our laws are today in the coordination purposes and i look forward to working with the committee. >> thank you very much. obviously it's a state-by-state effort that we will continue on. >> thank you. i want to really thank all four cochairs for your leadership in creating this task force. it's a little hard to leave that we haven't had one that focuses on the importance of our responding and addressing sexual assault in all its facets. each of us has been involved in this issue as legislators and collectively we will be able to really be more effective. i'm looking forward to participating. there are so many questions i
want to ask. i'm really asking, not only as a legislator, but as a mother who was about to send my first daughter to college. my daughter is here with me today. it's a little scary but important because i want her to hear and be prepared to make sure that she can keep herself safe. i've been involved in the rape kit testing for a very long time. we have more than 13000 untested rape kits in the
state of florida. that's an astonishing number but we are also a state of 20 million people. that doesn't excuse it, but it is a frighteningly large problem. i was involved in one particular case, it was not the state of florida, where i spent a solid year trying to help a young woman who had experienced a sexual assault, a drugged rape experience in the state, not only did the state not test the rape kit, but the law-enforcement leadership refused to respond, ignored inquiries from me and the victi victim, from other people in positions of authority so what do you think
we need to do mechanically, there are things we can do, passing legislation to address rape kit reform is important, but it would like to know from you, because you are not law-enforcement, what should we be doing to help people who are working on these issues every day and have the ability to use the mechanics of their position to help address making this a priority and helping them understand that it is a priority. >> talk about it. i just want to say, it is so exciting to be in a room with such passionate and like-minded people. i think the first thing, i just want to say thank you again for your testimony and, my heart hurts right now.
my heart physically hurts. i got choked up and i cried during my testimony, but i want to say it's because we carry so much, i have access to my motions because that's what i do for living, but you hear these stories, you hear words, dehumanizing, the life derailed, the way the lights go off track, these are not kits sitting on the shelf, these are people's lives sitting on the shelf, getting derailed. children getting derailed of what is this life supposed to be. i was on this track and i can't even make sense of what's happened to me. we have been letting perpetrators go by not testing these kits and sang we don't care about this issue so, as i
said earlier, these are scary issues that people have turned away from because they're frightening, but this is about talking about it. this is about a revolution, about facing these issues head-on thing guess what, we need to talk about the spread this is going on, but what you said was so important because the funding is critical. we can't do any of this without the funding. the education and the re- shifting and the victim blaming attitudes need to change and that's about talking about it as i have spoken about the rape kit backlog, people have no idea. they don't know this is happening. they don't realize that if you don't test the kit which is usually not from a stranger but from somebody they know, they said in the movie that you spoke about earlier, and i
am evidence to the film, which by the way is not out yet. it will be out next spring or this christmas on hbo. somebody in law enforcement said we have rapes, but most of them are consensual sex because the people know each other and that, in my opinion is the problem. >> i think you're right, we do need to talk about it. i think i'm going to try to start talking about it in a little bit more laser focused way. i don't know if any my colleagues have done this, but when i go home i'm going to convene my police chiefs and are county sheriff's and asked them to come and sit with me, for me to help shine a spotlight on this and ensure their making it a priority and use our platform and profile
to be able to do that, but also, i want to know more from them about how much of a priority this is for them. >> it's also an issue of consen consent. that is the issue. you ask what is it, we have to talk about what rape is because just because you know the person that raped you doesn't mean it's not rape. that is one of the core issues and the fact that these perpetrators change lanes. we know they escalate. anthony is a perfect example. this is a man who raped and then it escalated and then he murdered 11 women and their work countless women going to law-enforcement saying this man raped me and they were believed. this is an issue of being believed. >> and they are less believed when the rape occurs with someone they know. >> yes. >> it is much less likely that it gets prosecuted and that's
unacceptable. >> and awareness, it's so important because when i was raped at 13, how the police came in and talk to me, did you know him, was it your boyfriend, are you sure you didn't let him in the window, asking me all these questions making me feel like maybe it was something i did wrong. what were you sleeping in, do you always sleep that way? are you always on the couch, that was damning to me. for you to shift that blame on me as a child, that was not fair to me. so that's one of my concerns that we educate these people in these positions come of these police officers went to dealing with victims because some of them, as they say they will look at you side i'd as you speak to them. you need to understand the place i'm in. i don't understand the place i meant. i was totally derailed that night and i was confused and i was like why are they talking
to me, what did i do wrong. all i did was lay here on this couch to sleep so why are they talking to me like i did something. he had a knife to my throat. i didn't ask for this scar or for this to happen to me so why am i being treated this way. this is something i did not understand for a long time. it made me bitter for a long time because i thought how cruel are you are and how insensitive are you. you have daughters? you have mothers? do you have sons because it's happening to our young men. you understand what i'm going through. we have to continue to raise awareness. i don't know if we have to do victim panels with the police officers but they have to have some education so they know how to handle it into the questioning right and make sure they get the right evidence because most victims, if you, them the wrong way they will shut down. they're already ashamed of what's happening to them and they don't understand what's happening.
if you don't fee speak to me in a manner that i feel safe and comfortable with you and that you show that you're concerned about me i'm not going to be able to articulate what's happening to me. we have to raise awareness and educate our public officials and that's why i'm excited today that you formed this task force to say were going to make this different and we can make this change to make a difference in our victim's lives. >> it is fixable. >> absolutely. call it a shameless plug, but i passed out legislation to help make sure that we add to the fair housing act, to domestic violence and sexual assault because we have discrimination that goes on
when someone applies for rental housing or is trying to remain in their home when they were a victim, and many apartment complexes have a policy that if you have a crime occurred in the person evicted. of course the victim is not the perpetrator of the crime and they often and usually get evicted as well. i would urge you to consider cosponsoring that legislation as well. >> thank you. thank you so much for all your testimony and your courage. >> thank you very much. i want to thank all of the cochairs for convening this and all of the witnesses. i have met a couple of you when you came to detroit. you came to detroit at different times. we had 11341 on tested and then we found another 500 and we formed a task force to
address the issue. several people at this table were helpful. we were able to raise $70 million so far. i don't know why we should have to work that hard to raise it. we currently have fewer than a thousand remaining of the 2009 backlog kids and kim who is our prosecutor who is a fabulous woman, the work so far has resulted in 78 convictions and the identification of 784 is the suspected serial rapist and over 50 are believed to have committed sexual assaults 10 - 15 times each. when i talked to kim, she needs money. the money is needed for the investigation and prosecution of the cases.
i guess the question i would ask is, we are trying to raise awareness. i'm really aware of what it's like to call the police and have them not respond, the stereotyping of people. i'm concerned now, in the past couple of months i've had several high schoolers that were raped and while the school responded appropriately, calling law enforcement, they have been demonized by the local community and people don't understand that it's happening now not only in colleges and high schools. i had a young eighth-grade male come up to me at a town hall meeting and say we have to start to educate us in grade school. it was very touching. he was afraid to say publicly, but he came up to me later.
what would each of you say to us, we know we have rape money. i'm wondering, i'm not a prosecutor like several of them are. can we swap in every jurisdiction? is that allowed? do we need to pass a law and what would each of you say we should be doing to help raise awareness? what laws aren't on the books, and i do know, i agree with debbie, i lived in a domestic violence situation and nobody expects that somebody lived through what i lived through and hid in closets but we all need to talk about it more because people stereotype and don't want to talk about it, but what do we need to do? we've each experiences from a different perspective. what do we need to do to help raise awareness, raise the money and help the victims and take away this typical stereotyping. it is training for these
law-enforcement officers. i can remember calling the police and there was no way anybody was going to help me. doorhandles were taken up the doors, we were hiding in closets scared that we were going to be shot. there was no one who is going to help us spread we have to help raise awareness and take that away. i take all of your suggestions for what we need to do. >> let me set up by saying, has the public, we need to ensure that our safety forces are thoroughly compassionately investigating all these cases. i sat on cleveland city council. i sat on the safety committee, but i had no idea that within the cleveland police department there were 5000 rape kits that are untested.
certainly it was a never discussion that was had at the committee table and when the soul tragedy occurred, it shed a light on something that has now gone nationwide that there are these kids that were sitting untested on shelves throughout our country. i think, as representatives, both locally and federally, state, we need to put and push that these cases are critical. they all need thorough investigation. every victim needs to be heard. i think we can all do our part in making sure this is a priority going forward but every one of these cases are handled in an appropriate manner and justice is sought and received by the victims of these horrendous crimes. i think it starts at every level of government that we all ask which is how are these
cases being investigated? are the victims receiving the support and help they need? i think that's the best thing we can do going forward. we all know now there is a huge problem. ohio is perhaps a little ahead of other states because we had an attorney general who took this as a priority, perhaps because he was a former county prosecutor and is now our attorney general. he understood the significance of getting these kits tested so i suggest that you work with law enforcement and ask them about these particular cases. >> if i may speak from the healthcare perspective, i think there are a couple of things we need to do. we certainly need to be talking about it and that needs to extend to the healthcare community. we need to do a far better job of understanding that it's a public health care issue, that
the short and long-term consequences of that type of assault can be significant in the every single one of our participants has the potential to develop healthcare related issues from the violence they've experienced which means we need to talk about sexual violence and screening for sexual violence widely. we need to teach in medical and nursing schools. our residents need to understand the impact of violence on the healthcare of the patients that they are seeing in emergency departments and critical care in a variety of healthcare settings. we need access to sexual assault nurse examiners who are understood to be more than simply evidence collectors but healthcare specialist to attend to those healthcare issues and potentially prevent some of the swell of sexual violence. from our perspective, certainly the discussion needs
to happen at all levels of our professional development and patient interactions. >> thank you. i appreciate the answer and i understand you might have a question you like to ask. >> i have a couple questions. you referenced that level one and two trauma centers require all levels of care for everything except for sexual assault. it seems like that would be a good place for us to begin in terms of trying to begin to highlight the importance of having qualified, skillful nurses available. they don't necessarily have to be at the hospital. they can be on call, there's many ways it can be done. you agree with that. >> i do agree with that. if we had sexual assault nurse examiners in every level one and two trauma center, the vast majority of americans would be within a 60 minute drive or helicopter ride to a program which would widely
expand access to that critical healthcare service. >> mr. o'malley, and mr. bell, i have always been concerned by the fact that such states have limitations for rape. we just did a quick review, texas has a ten year, ohio has a 20, new hampshire has six years, pennsylvania has 12, north dakota seven, florida has none for sexual battery. [inaudible] it seems to me, at a time when we have dna where you can link, clearly, without question that a victim was assaulted by this individual, we shouldn't have a statute of limitations at all. could you speak to that? it seems like that was a stumbling block for you in terms of the cold cases that dated back in time. >> it's a good point.
i think what you will see in ohio has changed the twenty-year to a 25 year and it could extend beyond that if you have dna. if it's discovered, collected and then sent to the laboratory. if you do it properly, within that time period, there is a penalty for law-enforcement if they don't follow the time periods than that statute of limitation will extend from 25 to 30. there are ways to do so. there are lobbyists on the other side that would lobby for the defendant's rights in saying that's too long, there could be changes that have occurred that a no longer be prevalent to refute the victim's testimony, that
people's memories fade and so there is a delay in the process if you don't have some thing to force the police to bring these charges and investigate cases before him. your points with the advent of dna and sexual limitations can't extend and perhaps disappear is very well put. >> last question, you indicated every arrestee should be swapped, that that's one of the pillars of your recommendation. we looked at that in california some decades ago, and the aclu was all over it because you're swabbing arrestees and not convicted felons. could you speak to that issue? >> certainly. the arrestee information is put into the database. if someone is exonerated, their cases could be sealed and they are automatically
sealed by the administrators upon notificatio notification. in ohio, we were able to overcome that same type of attack by putting in restrictions and making sure there were proper notifications that would be put in place for the laboratories to know, from the police or prosecutors or from the courts or clerk of courts when someone hasn't been exonerated for their case has been sealed in their dna can then be taken out of the system. that is something that can be overcome. i know for instance, our task force has testified in front of other state legislatures, the state of washington was very receptive to the idea that this is a mini innocence project in and of itself.
if you test all caps, you can actually find out whether or not someone has been falsely accused, and that has played very wellin certain parts of the country. it is something that will be explored. these issues have been with us since the early 1990s when it was first being formulated. you would do it on convictions are only felonies or violent felonies, you also include sexual assaults and it has expanded over the period of 25 years. i would expect that will continue to expand. >> thank you. patrick, do you have a question? >> think mr. chairman. this has been an emotional week on capitol hill. i have to tell you, this hearing is about as effective in here and i've attended in quite some time and i thank you for the depth of exploration of some of these things, and i know what leaves you frustrated is that we are touching things that we could take any part of and spend the
whole hearing in the categorizing it but we don't have that luxury in the moment. i just want to ask a couple follow-up questions. let me start with you. i think you articulated this progress that we've made and you have this plan that will get us to 2020 where we might see this to an end. could you just take a moment and let us know where we are and what the rest of that plan would consider. i'm going to lay these out and you can be responsive. da o'malley or mr. bell, your statistics are overwhelming. i'm not just trying to say this is interesting. 670 serial cases out of your backlog. we have cities of your size all across america. how much are we going to find
if we take the same model and replicated? what is being done? we can feed some things here with funding, but we see it in all kinds of things we'd like to fund. the question is, you have such a compelling case, how are your colleagues demonstrating the impact that you are having an compelling those who are responsible for funding to say we have to make this a priority back in our areas. and lastly, i have such respect for the work that you are doing in this space and the ability, were talking about evidence and you really seem to be so focused on the treatment of the victim. you spent time talking and we
always talk about the treatment of the victim with respect to okay, let's make sure we get her or him so we can get the evidence and we forget about them. can you talk about the part of the program that is been there to help this victim reconnect in some ways if it services or other kinds of things that will allow other parts of them to heal up to and including the other kinds of inclusive medical issues that can arise because of the trauma for the other things associated with it. i know it's a lot, but if those were here could touch on those issues, i would be grateful. >> i will make this quick. obviously the goal is to pass reform in all 50 states. by 2020. i think you mentioned the four
pillars and the joyful heart is sort of the sixth pillar to comprehensive reform. that would be to start with auditing. too simply audit and know exactly how many kids only have. we need to kit every test in the backlog and test all new kits. obviously we are working on tracking. if we can track our children's christmas presents, why can't we track a rape kit. it's like a disgrace and it's like were saying it's not important. the tracking is so key. the other thing is the victim's rights to know. that truthful heart, we've invested in two years of research and how the victim wants to be notified and that is so important to speak to, what the victim needs and again keep the survivor at the center. and funding, those are sort of
our six pillars to reform and again, i just wanted to go back to what you asked about the testing and what people believe. there are five reasons to test every single cat and to test assailants there that we know because the first is to identify unknown suspect. if we put someone's dna in the database, then all of a sudden we can get a hit on that. then it can match unknown suspect, someone we are ready know and say put those two together. corroborate the victim's account. the victim said he did this and he said no i didn't and we find dna. discredit the. [inaudible] and exonerate the innocent.
every kid needs to be tested every time and we need to get a swab because then we are preventing so many rapes from happening. in the film that i made, we see how many women wouldn't have been raped if one kit was teste tested. >> it would be nice if you could get that appear so we could screen it. >> we will. >> thank you. >> i think with in ohio, we have formed such a great partnership amongst law-enforcement agencies and the public as well aware of this horrible situation where these cases and kits had sat on shelves. i think the light of scrutiny
has been shown upon these kids and so we have a collaborative effort in ohio that i think other states can certainly follow. one of the things, in my five months in office that i have now learned that may be a pattern for other states is ensuring that when an individual is arrested and fits within the parameters of the law of an individual who needs to be swabbed is making certain that law-enforcement is taking the swab and sending it down to enter into a system because i have found within our own county, since 2011 when our law was passed in the state of ohio, we have thousands of individuals who should've been swabbed that have not been swabbed. as rick talked earlier about another branch the same tree, we need to make sure this branch is developed completely. it has now come to our
attention, we have sat down with our partners in the kernel justice system and our law said they shall be arrested and swabbed a upon arrest. there's not a lot of wiggle room there. it's sitting down with our law enforcement partners in our sheriff and sang this needs to happen. as we all know, those who do not want a swab often have a reason to not want to be swabbed and it's incumbent upon us and law-enforcement to make sure we receive it. >> i will try to briefly identify or answer the question you've asked me. i think we are so used to thinking about our role as collectors of the evidence collection kit, but what we recognize is that for a lot of our patients, they have limited interaction with the healthcare system and so during the exam we have the
ability to identify healthcare issues that they may not have even been aware of. we certainly have the ability to attend to some of the preventative aspects like immunizations while they are with us. we also have the ability to connect them with critical resources both within the medical community and within the larger community as well, including mental health and physical healthcare resources. think the ability to be able to address all of the healthcare issues that individuals come in with is an important part of what were able to do. whether we can attend to all of it at once or at least begin the process of connecting patients with the ability to receive the care they may need. i think the other thing to recognize is that there are not only positives for our patient population when we dresaddress the health care
needs, but as research is beginning to tell us, there are real criminal justice impacts for our patients when we treat them as more than simply crime scenes. i'm so sorry for your experience with healthcare system. that should never ever happen. patient should not walk into a healthcare system and feel as though they are insensitive and they're only concerned about collecting the evidence and not really dealing with the whole individual. that's what happens when we treat patients solely as crime scenes. what we've discovered in the research which is really promising is that when patients are provided options when they come in for healthcare, when they are connected to critical resources and given choices, we see that those patients are more likely to engage with the criminal justice system. they are more likely to work with investigators and willing to move forward in the criminal justice system. i think there's a real benefit
to be able to deal with patients healthcare issues. i appreciate very much your comments about that. with coming from a victim perspective, my perpetrator, once he raped me and finding out that my cat went on the shelf, he went on to carjack and rape another young lady. had my evidence been processed in the they could have caught him then. he did another rape, he went to prison for ten years because this time he raped somebody's grandmother. when into her window and beater at knife. all this time my kit was still on the shelf. this could've been prevented. that hurt me because i felt part of it was my responsibility. had they investigated my kit
and solved my crime, he could not be out damaging other victims lives. that is part of the devastation for me to know this happened and then when my feecase was filed in 2006, kevin turner was coming up for parole most likely because how the laws were in texas with the statute of limitations, i couldn't prosecute, but the governor at that time who is rick. and the chief of police and other staffers help protest his parole and he was able to stay in. the state of texas told me they are going to be the laughing stock of the country if we let him out knowing that we have all this evidence against him, but you can't prosecute. that was very devastating to know that you have evidence, you have dna which i've always call the footprint from god. there's a reason it's there and we don't take advantage of the blessing that we have to used to stop these criminals in their tracks.
then what you were saying, doctor jennifer, in regards to the health issue, me as a child, growing up and not getting the proper care, being stressed, because all kind of health issues for me and i didn't realize that. it wasn't until i got into my 30s and i had a doctor that was concerned about so many issues with me and he began to probe and he got out of me about my sexual assault. he said it promise you the over eating, i stressed eat and the grinding of my teeth, so many other health issues just from that sexual assault not being addressed and so i'm thankful that i'm in a better place now and i've begun my healing process, but these are things that happen to victims every single day because we look over them. we expect them to just get by, but it's damaging. it's not just the rape itself. it's a life long. >> last night at the
screening, someone who was a nurse raised her hand and she had seen some things about health care and hospital and she specifically asked, i need training, how do i deal with survivors and she said i've seen some things that people are not treating people the way they should be treated and that was a young nurses question for us about how she could learn and how she could further her training. >> this is a wonderful place to say this is the beginning of the conversation. we do have a hard stop, people do have to get to their planes. this is beyond my wildest dreams and pulling together this bipartisan coalition. it also ties in, and we won't have time for my questions, but the idea of both directions, not only do we have cereal predators were not
being caught, but the down downstream impact on the health and well-being, we have a bipartisan task force on the opioid epidemic that many of us are involved with. many of the victims, because they are swept into this we are finding our survivals of sexual assault and trauma from the military and personal lives. so much more to talk about. we appreciate you being with us. thank you to our colleagues. we will continue. thank you. >> the meeting is adjourned. [applause]