Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. One of the biggest barriers to justice for survivors is decades worth of untested rape kits. A brutal new PSA says that the untested rape kit backlog has the same effect as putting the victims themselves on the shelf.
In the aftermath of a sexual assault, a victim who choses to undergo an exhaustive and invasive forensic evidence collection examination—often referred to as a rape kit—expects the kit will be tested and the evidence used to prosecute the attacker. Victims and the public alike assume those kits are tested; when in fact there is a backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits, sitting on shelves in warehouses for months, years, even decades while perpetrators remain free to commit other sexual assaults.
The national campaign, “Shelved,” was developed by new agency Invisible Man, founded by former Y&R creative Rachel Howald. It was created for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation in partnership with Viacom Velocity. The PSA seeks to draw awareness to the rape kit backlog to encourage legislative reforms to improve the handling of rape kits, to eliminate the backlog, and to ensure it never happens again.
In the haunting spot, a forklift carries a woman, the personification of her rape kit, past other long-shelved victims of every age, race and gender as she describes the details of her assailant. Her voice is broken but hopeful as she says “All those details plus the DNA, is enough evidence for you to catch him, right?...right?”
Film advertisement created by Invisible Man, United States for Joyful Heart Foundation, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.
Founder: Rachel Howald
Executive Producer: Lisa Goore
Art Director / Copywriter: Rachel Howald
Executive Producer: Niels Schuurmans / Viacom Velocity
Producer: Tony Calandra / Viacom Velocity
Production Company: The Corner Shop
Director: Ellen Kuras
Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
Producer: Jessica Miller
Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors / NY
Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
Producer: Lisa Barnable
Editor: Chris Mitchell
Assistant Editor: Tania Mesta
VFX / Flame: Eddie Reina
Colorist: Sofie Borup
Producer: Alexandra Lubano
Music Consultant: Paul Greco
Music: 'The Light' / The Album Leaf
Sound Mixing: Tom Jucarone / Sound Lounge