Rape kit testing in Long Beach is a public health crisis. Transparency is an issue. Access is an issue. Cost is an issue. Trust is an issue.

According to End the Backlog, the Long Beach Police Department collected 1,657 rape kits between July 1993 and August 2017. The police have not clarified how many of those kits have been tested.

In 2018, California passed a law mandating an audit of all untested rape kits in the possession of law enforcement, medical facilities, and crime labs. A state mandate shouldn’t be necessary.

Long Beach Community Hospital, which is the only resource where sexual assault survivors can receive testing services within city limits, is set to re-open this year – as a for-profit institution. We need alternatives.

TestNowLBC will initially be working to raise awareness about the crisis, with the long-term goal being either no-cost or low-cost provision of rape kit testing in safe spaces for Long Beach survivors of sexual assault.