Bill to tackle Texas rape kit backlog gets House approval

The Texas House unanimously passed a bill to tackle the state’s rape kit backlog.

The legislation would create a timeline for kits to be submitted, tested and sent for analysis. It would also order an audit to figure out how many rape kits are currently sitting untested in the state.

Representative Victoria Neave of Dallas said she sponsored the bill because she was inspired by the story of Lavinia Masters.

Masters was raped in her Dallas home in 1985 when she was just 13 years old. Her attacker was eventually caught but her rape kit sat on a shelf for 21 years.

“When they finally found out who he was, he was known as a serial rapist all because my evidence sat on the shelf,” she said in a previous interview.

“We want folks to know every rape kit is not just a number sitting on the shelf. Every rape kit represents a survivor. Every rape kit tells a story,” Neave said at the time.

Last year, Neave also authored a new law that allows people getting or renewing their driver’s license to donate money for this cause.