Memphis Gets Sued Over 15,000 Lost Rape Kits. Oopsie-Daisy!

The city of Memphis is being sued for allegedly discarding (or otherwise losing) thousands and thousands (more than a dozen of thousands) of rape kits that they allowed to accumulate untested for decades. Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

According to a lawsuit filed by an unnamed Memphis woman who was a victim of sexual assault 13 years ago, the Memphis Police Department has been exceptionally shitty about actually doing a thing — a single thing — about testing them.


You'd think with all this technology we have nowadays it would be easier to stay organized, but it seems that life is more confusing than ever. Where are my keys? Where is my fancy-pantsy phone? Where are those 15,000 untested rape kits? Did I throw those away with that ball of old receipts at the bottom of my purse?

Memphis isn't the only municipality with a big closet full o' TK rape kits; according to estimates, around 180,000 rape kits remain untested across the country.


This is especially upsetting when taking into consideration the process of submitting to a post-rape forensic medical exam can be upsetting and traumatic for victims, involving a head-to-toe exam, including an internal exam and photo documentation. That thousands of women submitted to the process and trusted law enforcement would follow up only to be let down by the institutions that are supposed to protect is unconscionable. If police departments exist to protect civilians, only they fail to protect half of civilians, then for what purpose do police departments exist?

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