DNA COLLECTION KITS FOR MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT
WASHINGTON, DC - An amendment that would direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to eliminate its backlog of untested rape DNA collection kits and ensure that the armed forces have an ample supply of the kits was successfully attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4200) today by Rep. Carolyn Maloney. This action comes one week after DoD’s task force on military sexual assault released its final report, which was criticized for containing mostly vague recommendations. Numerous immediate actions that had been recommended in previous reports - such as making DNA kits widely available - were not included in last week’s report.
“DNA testing kits can help identify rapists and get them locked up - both in civilian society and the military,” said Maloney. “They are one component of a larger system that DoD should implement to end sexual assault in the military. The task force’s report was shockingly thin on specific or immediate recommendations to stop sexual assault. This amendment is just one step in the right direction, but we desperately need to jump-start the process. If they’re not going to do quick work on this, someone should.”
Maloney and her colleagues who joined her in requesting a meeting with Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plan to meet with him, after the DoD notified her that the meeting would take place in the near future.