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SANE hopes to contact 3,800 rape kit backlog victims

Jen French
July 13, 2017 10:08 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Thousands of rape victims will soon get an important phone call. Some of the victims’ cases are nearly 30 years old.

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The estimated 3,800 women and some men are part of Albuquerque’s backlog of untested rape kits. Now that Albuquerque Police are getting more funding to test them, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, known as SANE, wants to give the victims closure.

SANE helps rape victims get counseling and navigate the criminal justice system.

“It's always been an assumption that if we are going to test these old kits, we have to have a way to communicate with victims,” SANE Director Teresa D'anza said.

Some of the victims may not even know their kit was never tested, D'anza said. She applied for a grant in hopes of hiring an employee to help SANE call the estimated 3,800 victims. Some victims in the database will be tough to track if they’ve changed their number or address.

Still, D'anza said SANE has to try because most offenders have raped more than once.

"Only 7 percent of men rape,” she said. “So that means there is going to be a lot of duplicate offenders in these kits."

It could mean the wheels of justice finally start turning for some victims.

"They're going to have to prosecute,” D'anza said. “So, there's this really long ripple effect that's going to happen."

Phone calls are expected to start in the fall. D'anza expects it will take a couple of years to contact all victims. 

Credits

Jen French

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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