My grandfather is Louis R. Vitullo.
He was a Chicago Police Officer turned Forensic expert who invented the first ever Sexual Assault evidence kit, also known as a Rape Kit. Below he is featured in the late 1970s holding the kit after it’s inception and implementation
He passed on January 2, 2006. Since his passing, it has been discovered that there is a significant back log of untested sexual assault kits collecting dust on evidence shelves all over the country. The means that there are hundreds of thousands of men and women who still have not had closure to their trauma, and whose assailants have not been identified. The thought of this is unimaginable and myself and my family were appalled when we learned of this. This is an example of why this digital era we live in can be used for good, because this backlog became a viral phenomenon and got the attention of large audience news outlets such as CNN.
I was contacted by Jessica Ravitz, CNN reporter, about this precise issue. Here is the link to that interview and article: CNN Interview
Thankfully this brought even more attention to our men and women in legislative power and, in particular here in California, it caught the attention of Assembly member Evan Low from District 28. In 2017, Assemblyman Low enacted AB280 known as “Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault.” Under this Assembly Bill, he enacted the Rape Kit Backlog Voluntary Contribution Fund that allows taxpayers to help fund the testing of backlogged rape kits in the state of California. You can read more about Assemblyman Evan Low here.
I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to meet with Assemblyman Low and present an award for his contributions. He was also kind enough to allow me to capture this pivotal moment in a photo. Pictured below are members of his team, members of AFSCME Union, and myself (in the middle with the glasses) next to Assemblyman Low.
Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. To learn more about how you can assist in ending the backlog of sexual assault evidence kits click here
Lastly, if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault you are not alone and there are many resources and advocates available for you. Please encourage them (or yourself) to call 800-656-HOPE.
Always remember, you are loved and valued.
Warmest regards and best wishes,