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Leaders call for untested rape kits to be processed

Tuesday, community leaders stressed the necessity for untested rape kits to be processed in the Jacksonville-area.

Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams and State Attorney Angela Corey held a news conference at City Hall to discuss the plans moving forward to help victims of sexual violence. 

One of the topics highlighted at the news conference was Jacksonville becoming a leader across the state in untested rape kits. The nearly $3 million in grant money that the area received in 2015 has been helping with the backlog of untested rape kits.

Across the state and country, events like Tuesday's news conference are being held to try to raise awareness about sexual violence.

One of the reoccurring topics has been how to provide support for the victims and the resources Jacksonville has to do that. In response, Corey announced the creation of a new hotline that will help victims. 

Williams said solving all of the cases, involving the untested kits, is a huge priority.

"Coming in, we knew we had an issue with untested kits. And we collaborate with all of our partners every day. To be able to work with Angela, and obviously she led the charge on the grant and doing all of the applications, working through that process. Being awarded that grant and being able to comprehensively address this issue, not just test the kits, but then investigate the cases, it's really win for the community," Williams said. 

To contact the 24-hour rape crisis hotline, call 904-721-7273.