Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), just wrapped up a press conference on his bill to require all rape kits to be tested, and what happened there was powerful.
Holcomb, whose legislation, HB 827, was blocked late last week by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), addressed Unterman’s assertions that there was no backlog of untested rape kits and that the problem was contained to Atlanta and Grady Hospital.
“This issue is not limited to just one city,” Holcomb said. “This issue is not limited to just one hospital.”
He went on to argue that clear instances of untested rape kits are still coming to light, pushing back on Unterman’s claim that no backlog currently exists, and rejected her assurance that a law could be introduced in January if problems do arise.
“It is not something that should wait until next year when we know we have the answer now,” he said.
The most compelling moment of the presser did not come from Rep. Holcomb. Rather, it came from a sexual assault survivor, who took to the podium to speak about her experience.
She told the packed room that after she was raped, she was afraid to come forward until she heard that her rapist might have raped other women. She went to the authorities, and as an attorney, has seen many rape cases since.
Rape kits, she said, are essential to securing good, accurate convictions of rapists, and it’s shameful to leave them untested.
It is shameful to block this bill. Call Sen. Renee Unterman today at (404) 463-1368 and tell her to move HB 827 forward.