KaDee Strickland Takes A Stand On The Hill

KaDee Strickland, the star of ABC’s Private Practice, took to Capitol Hill this month to help persuade lawmakers to pass the SAFER Act, which will help eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence.

At a briefing for Congressional staff, Strickland joined Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s president, and Debbie Smith, after whom Congress named the landmark Debbie Smith Act, which has led to the testing of tens of thousands of rape kits.

Debbie Smith expressed her strong support for the SAFER Act and for ensuring that more money allocated for DNA is spent directly solving cases. “In today’s economy we have been asked to more with less, causing us to have to find ways to work smarter. I believe the SAFER Act can do just that. SAFER requires no new money as we are asking to reallocate current DNA funding that’s not being used for testing,” said Smith. “To me it is shameful when less than half the money appropriated to this law is going for its intended purpose — in fact, only 40% of the currently appropriated money from the Debbie Smith Act goes to testing case work. The SAFER Act will also bring transparency and accountability, for it will give us a much better idea of how many rape kits are really out there and how long it will take to test them."

Strickland and RAINN also met with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who expressed her support for the SAFER Act, and with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Through her work portraying a rape victim on ABC’s Private Practice, Strickland has become a vocal advocate for using DNA evidence in solving rape cases. Two of the women upon whom Strickland based her portrayal received justice in their own cases because of DNA evidence. However, both women had to wait over a decade for the evidence from their cases to be processed.

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