In HBO documentary, Mariska Hargitay calls to End the Backlog on untested rape kits

In HBO documentary, Mariska Hargitay calls to ‘End the Backlog’ on untested rape kits. (ABC7)

In a startling statistic, experts estimate there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting untested across the country.

But today, a national spotlight is shining on the efforts to End the Backlog.

Actor and activist Mariska Hargitay is shining light on the backlog of sexual assault kits in her new HBO documentary "I Am Evidence."

There is a push to test rape kits, but in cities across the country there are different standards to process them, and in many states a backlog of rape kits sit in police storage facilities.

Some states track the numbers but there are big differences in how law enforcement agencies tally and report the information.

The Maryland Attorney General's office says there is no one place with all the state's numbers, but an audit of 135 agencies revealed there are around 3,700 untested rape kits dating back as far as 1981.

the Virginia Attorney General's office says it started out with around 2,000 untested kits, but more than 75 percent have already been sent for testing.

Three years after losing its accreditation, the DC lab put in new policies and procedures and now says it no longer has a rape kit back log.

Hargitay's documentary explores how the backlog can mean no justice for survivors. It airs Monday at 8 p.m. on HBO.

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