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WGS hosts I Am Evidence Film Screening and Panel Discussion

The Department of Women’s & Gender Studies hosted a film screening of the award-winning documentary I Am Evidence on April 9th in the Marshall Center’s Oval Theater for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This event was done in conjunction with the National Organization for Women at USF Student Organization to raise awareness of the rape-kit backlog in the U.S.

After the film concluded, there was a panel discussion moderated by WGS Associate Professor Michelle Hughes Miller. The panel members consisted of Dr. Ráchael Powers, Associate Professor in the USF Department of Criminology; Jessica Pinto, Advocate Manager at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, and Melissa Suddeth, Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The panel members fielded questions from the audience on topics including trauma-informed care training for law enforcement, technical and financial details of DNA testing, poor rates of conviction for sexual assaults, and the status of the rape-kit backlog in Florida. The audience learned that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement discovered in 2015 that there were over 13,000 untested rape kits in the state, and since then has begun testing that backlog.

For more information about the backlog, visit:

Filed under:Women’s and Gender Studies Events    
Author:Sarah Jünke