ICYMI: Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes Pre-Files Appropriations Requests to Address Rape Kit Back-log

Posted On January 13, 2016

Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes Pre-Files Appropriations Requests to Address Rape Kit Back-log
Lawmaker also requests funding to help victims of sexual assault

Santa Fe, NM – Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes pre-filed two appropriations requests to help bring rapists to justice and provide services to victims of sexual assault.

Maestas Barnes has requested a $1.2 million appropriation, HB 130, to allow the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to hire additional full-time staff to work on the back-log of untested rape kits in New Mexico.  According to DPS, there are over 5,000 rape-kits in New Mexico that have not been processed.  Some of these unprocessed kits date back to the 1980s.  The funding requested by Maestas Barnes would help DPS process these kits and potentially identify suspects in these cases.

“There is absolutely no point in collecting evidence with these kits if they sit untested potentially for months, years or decades,” Maestas Barnes said. “This backlog is unacceptable and must be eliminated to provide a measure of justice to the victims of sexual assault.”

Also, Maestas Barnes has requested $1 million, HB 131, for the Department of Health to contract with rape crisis centers across the state to provide trauma-informed counseling services to victims of sexual assault.  The funding would be used by the centers to meet the increased need for victim services.

“Survivors of sexual assault have an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance abuse,” said Maestas Barnes.  “My goal with this appropriation is to ensure that victims of sexual assault have all the necessary resources to help them with the difficult process of healing and recovery.”

#  #  #

Related Posts

ICYMI: NM CD2 Named Most Competitive In the Nation

ICYMI: NM CD2 Named Most Competitive In the Nation

ICYMI, The Washington Post has rated New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District race the most competitive in the country, while another Washington newspaper shows a virtual tie.  The Washington Post has just named the Rep. Xochitl Torres Small-Yvette Herrell race the...

A Call For Unity From Chairman Steve Pearce

A Call For Unity From Chairman Steve Pearce

Now that the Primary is over, many candidates may well feel the sting and wounds of political battle and the bruises of a heated and hard-fought campaign. But wounds heal, and it’s time to look ahead--together. Election 2020 is critical to our state’s future, and...