Every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted. Sadly, many victims never see justice due to the hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits that have not been submitted for testing by police.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—It’s a startling statistic. In California, there are nearly 9,000 untested rape kits collecting dust in local police evidence rooms and warehouses. Sadly, that number makes up only a small fraction of the estimated hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits nationwide. To help end the backlog, Eagle Club Indoor Golf recently announced a continued commitment to raise awareness and funds for the “End the Backlog” campaign, a Joyful Heart Foundation initiative.
“We saw a Facebook video on the backlog, and we immediately knew we had to do what we could to help,” stated Michael Sharratt, President of Eagle Club Indoor Golf. “The rape kit backlog represents a cornerstone in gender inequality and puts into real terms the problem of our society’s rape culture. To do nothing would perpetuate the problem.”
When tested, DNA evidence contained inside rape kits is an invaluable investigative tool to solve and prevent crime. It can identify an unknown assailant, reveal serial offenders, and bring opportunities for justice and healing to survivors. Yet too often, the decision is made not to test these kits.
"As Joyful Heart works with partners across the country to implement comprehensive rape kit reform across the country, commitments like that of the Eagle Club Indoor Golf will help to raise awareness and accountability,” stated Ilse Knecht, Policy and Advocacy Director for Joyful Heart Foundation.
Since 2010, Joyful Heart has made the elimination of the rape kit backlog a top priority. The organization has embarked on an aggressive strategy – to secure policy wins across the country by 2020 to effectively eliminate the rape kit backlog and ensure the timely testing of all future rape kits. To date, 27 states have passed laws requiring sexual assault kit audits or mandatory testing of rape kits. These laws will expand what we know about the true extent of the number of untested rape kits in police storage facilities and will result in thousands of cases for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute.
Since February, Eagle Club Indoor Golf has helped raise more than $6,500 for the “End the Backlog” campaign. Throughout March, the golf facility in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood will continue to donate five percent of its revenues to Joyful Heart’s cause. According to Sharratt, he’s more than happy to do so.
“We are part of the community and the community is part of us. We have to do our part in improving it, whether that’s by providing access to a service that brings joy or taking an active role in contributing to the causes that the community finds important,” explained Sharratt. “Focusing solely on profits means that we are removing the emotion, thus, the human connection, to our business.”
In California alone, there are inconsistent policies across jurisdictions. “Justice for a survivor of sexual assault should not depend on the California zip code in which they live,” added Knecht. “The resources raised by Eagle Club Indoor Golf will help us as we work across the state to seek justice for survivors.”
On March 31st and April 1st, Eagle Club Indoor Golf will also host a “Drive-A-Thon” fundraising event and donate 50 percent of all range time revenue to the “End the Backlog” campaign.
“Participants can expect a fun and low pressure golfing experience,” stated Sharratt. “We hope to raise an additional $5,000 by getting other indoor golf facilities involved for a nationwide, joint fundraising and awareness effort.”
Participants are encouraged to reserve a spot by calling 415-795-4145. Eagle Club Indoor Golf is a 21 and over facility located at 555 Howard Street, Suite 102, in San Francisco. To learn more, click here.
About Eagle Club Indoor Golf
Established in 2013, Eagle Club Indoor Golf has established itself as a convenient, go-to spot for golfers in San Francisco. Every offering and feature is designed to make golf more fun, easier to play, more accessible, and more relaxing for golfers and non-golfers alike. Features include driving ranges, courses, and services like club repair and regripping.
About Joyful Heart Foundation
When Mariska Hargitay started playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. She created the Joyful Heart Foundation to help survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. Joyful Heart has evolved into a national organization with offices in Los Angeles, Honolulu, and New York City. The mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors' healing, and end this violence forever. To learn more, click here.