Category Archives: rape kits

2019 Women’s Marches in NC

Women are getting the women’s marches going around NC. We know of 4 women’s march and rallies so far.

1. Women’s March On Asheville 2019 – January 20, 2019, 11am-2pm, S Pack Square, Asheville NC 28801.  The theme is We Believe Survivors!!
Event at – https://www.facebook.com/events/316740779104600/

Women’s March On Asheville, 2018 Photo Credit: Women’s March On Asheville

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Women Rising Up NOW! In Raleigh on 10/20/18

We have record numbers of women running for office in 2018 because women are rising up! We have women organizing regular protests around the state – NC has weekly protests in Raleigh and Wilmington! Mostly women are protesting at the Kavanaugh hearings and around the state and country. Because Women are Rising Up NOW! 

Please join us at our NC NOW State conference to meet some of these women in NC and learn some skills to help you rise up as well! Register for the conference online here. Register by mail using NC NOW News Fall 2018 Registration Page (v2) (print and mail).

We are honored to announce that our keynote speaker is Civil Rights attorney, Anita Earls.

Civil Rights Attorney Anita Earls at Women’s Rally On Raleigh, 1/20/18. Photo Credit: Yevonne Brannon

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Jones: Make Rape Kit Testing a Priority

About 30 years ago, my sweet, elderly aunt for whom I was named was brutally beaten and raped in the country church where I was baptized and where five generations of my ancestors are buried. She had gone there on a Saturday morning to practice the organ selections for the next day. A neighboring farmer and family friend found her naked and barely alive on the church steps. She survived to bear witness in a courtroom where they acquitted her rapist. No DNA evidence was supplied. The following week, all of the witnesses that provided an alibi for her rapist received new cars from the car dealership belonging to the rapist’s father. Rape is usually a serial offense. Eventually, he was convicted after raping a young woman after her car broke down, stranding her on the highway. DNA evidence from a rape kit finally nailed him and thankfully, he is now in prison.

The young man who date-raped my little sister when she was in high school is still out there. A rape kit might have convicted him. We know that one in four rape kits results in conviction, a reason that former Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Tim McGinty, calls rape kits “the best bargain in the history of law enforcement.”

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Peeples: Why is Evidence Ignored in Storage and Thrown Away?

NC may have the most untested rape kits in the nation (15,160 reported from 92% of law enforcement agency reports submitted). It is clear that too many rape kits are going unprocessed in NC and the NC General Assembly is not providing money to test or to track them, even in the face of this astounding backlog. It is also significant that none were reported from any universities (according to the report from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office). But when rapes are reported in NC, the state is falling down on the job – not processing the evidence and actually sometimes throwing away the evidence. Ignoring the evidence causes more damage in the long run, allowing rapists to run amok in NC and move on to other states. And there are many advantages of testing them as soon as possible.

“Every $1 spent on the analysis of a kit returns $81 from averted future assaults.”

The 81 to 1 savings is according to an article reviewing the research of two Stanford University professors published “Analyzing approaches to the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in the USA,” 3/5/18, Journal of Forensic Science. The article also states that the $81 may be a conservative estimate and it could go as high as $3,000 for every $1 spent. The professors estimate that there are around 400,000 untested sexual assault kits in the backlog in the U.S.A.

Sexual Assault Kits on display at NC NOW State Conference in 2017. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Their reviews of police data for jailed perpetrators suggest that the average number of assault victims per assailant is around 26. The cost of testing a kit ranges from $700 to $1500.

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Pro-choice Signature Ad Packets Delivered on 6/4/18

NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 6/4/18. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW. 

NC NOW Members Deliver Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets on Jun 4, 2018. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

This year the letter was somewhat focused on the terrible budget process which blocked input from all Democratic lawmakers and maybe some Republican ones as well. The letter also talked about inappropriate uses of taxpayer money in the budget. See the letter below.

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Fayetteville NOW’s 18th annual Susan B. Anthony event – 2/22/18

This 18th annual Susan B. Anthony event will honor Deanne Gerdes, Executive Director of Rape Crisis of Cumberland County RCCC, and Lt. John Somerindyke, of Fayetteville Police Department’s Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit. Gerdes and Somerindyke are being thanked for all they have done to further the progress of cold rape cases by initiating coordinating efforts with local legislators relative to untested rape kits.

Sexual Assault Kit from display at 2017 NC NOW Conference Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Date: Thursday, Feb 22, 2018
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Place: VFW Post 6018, 116 Chance St., Fayetteville NC
Registration: Use this form, which you can see below.

Fayetteville’s local weekly periodical, “Up and Coming” featured an article about the event, “Fighting for statewide sexual assault survivor justice: Gerdes and Somerindyke honored at Fayetteville NOW event.”

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