"Eye-opening" documentary about rape kit backlog shown at the MAC

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.

"Nearly 47% of Kentucky women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime," said Gretchen hunt

Hunt is the Director of the Office of Victims Advocacy for the Kentucky Attorney General.

With these alarming statistics come a high number of rape kits used every day.

"It doesn't need to just happen in Frankfort or Lexington or Louisville, we need to support our smaller communities," Hunt pointed out.

Hunt told WYMT a large number of rape kits sit untested in police department and crime lab storage facilities across the country.

"I am glad to say today that we are one of the states that has cleared the backlog," said Hunt.

Now many prosecutions, including those of serial offenders, are popping up in Kentucky.

"One in two women will be a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime. But that doesn't mean one in two men commit crimes of sexual violence," Hunt explained.

Heather Green with Mountain Comprehensive Care Center said through events, like showing the "I Am Evidence" documentary at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, many can find help in the mountains.

Organizers told WYMT "I Am Evidence" is an eye-opening documentary that exposes the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States.

"People (need) to understand and know the work that's being done. But also be the voice for survivors," said Greene.

Before the documentary, local advocacy organizations like Judi's Place for Kids and the City of Prestonsburg Tourism set up booths with information brochures.

During the event, speakers said the first step is starting the conversation.

"It's okay to talk about it. We're here to help you and that our community is doing something about it," explained Greene.

Earlier this year, Kentucky legislators passed a law requiring state police to establish a rape kit tracking system by July 1, 2020.

The system will include a portal for survivors to check the status of their kits anonymously.

To learn more about the backlog rape kits, click here.

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