For survivors of sexual assault: Help us investigate how Oklahoma treats rape kits

Donate
From left: Tulsa Police Department Sgt. Jillian Phippen; Kathy Bell, forensic nursing administrator at TPD; Danielle Tudor, a rape survivor; and Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa. SHANE BEVEL/For The Frontier

For more than a year, The Frontier has investigated sexual assault and how it stays hidden in Oklahoma as attackers remain free and victims are forced to stay in the shadows of justice.

In December, we released a five-part series on the state’s treatment of rape survivors — from the reporting process, to prosecution, to the Legislature.

Now we’re asking for your help.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault who has provided a rape kit to law enforcement, we would like to speak with you.

Last year, Oklahoma launched an effort to count its untested rape kits. So far, almost 7,300 have been counted in law enforcement agencies across the state. Many of those have sat on shelves in evidence rooms for years, left to gather dust.

The answer why thousands of rape kits have gone untested still is unclear.

Many law enforcement agencies have attributed untested kits to uncooperative or unreliable victims. More than a thousand rape kits were never given a reason for going unprocessed. However, our investigation last year found many police officers lack the training to effectively communicate with rape survivors.

We hope speaking to survivors directly will help to further the public’s understanding of why so many rape kits are not tested. No information will be shared or published without your permission.

My name is Kassie McClung, and I’m a reporter with The Frontier. You can reach me at 918-935-1044,  kassie@readfrontier.com or on Twitter @KassieMcClung.

Below you can find links to stories about sexual assault I have done in the past. I have worked with survivors and am sensitive to privacy, safety and other concerns you might have.

A Frontier Investigation: Shadow Land

Rape on Campus: Too scared to tell

Soul Survivors: Rape victims face uneasy path to new laws

Audit counts almost 7,000 untested rape kits in Oklahoma

Your financial support for our investigative journalism is now tax deductible. To become a Friend of The Frontier, click here.

Kassie McClung

Staff writer

Kassie McClung joined The Frontier in May 2016. She reports on health, criminal justice and other state issues. Kassie holds a bachelors degree in multimedia journalism from Oklahoma State University. She likes dogs, maps and data. She can be reached at Kassie@readfrontier.com or 918-935-1044. Follow her on Twitter @KassieMcClung.
Donate