By thelaegotist / / Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. One of the biggest barriers to justice for survivors is decades worth of untested rape kits. A brutal new PSA says that the untested rape kit backlog has the same effect as putting the victims themselves on the shelf. In the aftermath of a sexual assault, a victim who choses to undergo an exhaustive and invasive forensic evidence collection examination—often referred to as a rape kit—expects the kit will be tested and the evidence used to prosecute the attacker. Victims and the public alike assume those kits are tested; when in fact there is a backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits, sitting on shelves in warehouses for months, years, even decades while perpetrators remain free to commit other sexual assaults. The national campaign, “Shelved,” was developed by new agency Invisible Man, founded by former Y&R creative Rachel Howald. It was created for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation in partnership with Viacom Velocity. The PSA seeks to draw awareness to the rape kit backlog to encourage legislative reforms to improve the handling of rape kits, to eliminate the backlog, and to ensure it never happens again. Shelved was directed by famed filmmaker and cinematographer, Ellen Kuras, who is best known for her work on the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and recent directing work on Ozark. In an industry where fewer than 7% of directors are women, Kuras is an unprecedented three-time winner at Sundance for Best Dramatic Cinematography and her documentary feature film ‘The Betrayal’ was awarded an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for direction. Learn more about the End the Backlog campaign at endthebacklog.org.
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