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Advocates tell reality of 7,000 untested rape kits

(KOKH/FILE)

A task force created to handle nearly 7,000 untested rape kits will meet. Testing these kits could unlock years-old cold cases.

At the District Attorney's Council Thursday afternoon -- the biggest hurdle of the meeting is to figure out how to know which rape kits to test. Testing all of them would be too much to handle, but many agree at least some should be tested.

At the forefront of this debate are sexual assault crisis centers. They're the ones that administer these rape kits or sexual assault forensic examines.

"Many of them come in here for a sexual assault forensic exam expecting that it will eventually be tested and then they're told that either it won't be tested at all or that it takes 6 months 9 months a year for the to be tested its devastating to a lot of people," said Rape Crisis Center Coordinator, Courtney Foster

As difficult as it might be, Courtney Foster believes all 7,000 rape kits should be tested.

"I would say listen to the victims. The victims know what justice looks like for them. And we need to be the ones that listen to what they have to say and what they need and follow their lead," said Foster.

And that's what they'll have to do Thursday.

The latest numbers from the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam or SAFE task force, shows the number of untested rape kits for every city and county in Oklahoma. They're still not done and Thursday's meeting at 1 p.m. will give the latest update.

If you are in any kind of need or just want someone to talk to, the crisis line at the women's resource center is available 24/7. That number is 405-701-5660. You can also go to their website -- at WRCNormanOK.org -- for more information.

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