A harrowing investigation into law enforcement’s failure to process hundreds of thousands of rape kits across America—allowing many rapists to walk free. In 2011, advocacy groups estimated that up to 250,000 rape kits sat untested in police storage across the country. These kits, some from crimes dating as far back as the mid-1990s, represent a disturbing breakdown in law enforcement that has allowed many violent criminals to remain on the streets. In some cases, rape victims are kept in the dark about the investigations into the crimes committed against them. Legal expert Linda Fairstein illustrates this injustice with the story of a Los Angeles woman whose experience, Fairstein writes, “is a tragic example of the outrageous backlog of untested rape kits that has existed nationwide for more than a decade.” In The Rape Scandal that Puts You at Risk, Fairstein lays bare these failures of law enforcement and issues a rallying cry for women everywhere to demand change. Originally published in Cosmopolitan, this essay is now available in digital format for the first time and features a new introduction by the author.
About the Author
Linda Fairstein is one of America’s foremost legal experts on violent crimes against women and children, and a former chief of the Manhattan District Attorney’s pioneering Special Victims Bureau. She developed many of the techniques that have revolutionized the prosecution of sexual predators, including her early introduction of DNA as a forensic tool. Fairstein is also the author of an internationally bestselling series of crime novels featuring her fictional alter ego, Alex Cooper. The fourteenth book in the series, Night Watch, was published in July 2012. Fairstein has been a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan magazine since 2002. Visit her website at www.lindafairstein.com.
Hometown:New York, New York and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:May 5, 1947
Place of Birth:Mount Vernon, New York
Education:B.A., Vassar College, 1969; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1972