Search form

Home > News > Senior Thesis: Persistence Yields Insights Into Untested Sexual Assault Kits

Senior Thesis: Persistence Yields Insights Into Untested Sexual Assault Kits

May 6th, 2015
Princeton student Rebecca Basaldua's senior thesis focuses on rape kits, which contain physical evidence collected from sexual assault victims and can play an important role in identifying and convicting rapists. The thesis, titled "Justice Untested, Crime Unsolved,” combines information on reports of rape in Colorado and use of sexual assault kits from 2009 to 2012 with information about law enforcement agencies, their budgets and the communities they serve.    Photo courtesy of Rebecca Basaldua '15

Princeton student Rebecca Basaldua's senior thesis relies on academic knowledge, research skill and a generous helping of tenacity.

The politics major's thesis focuses on rape kits, which contain physical evidence collected from sexual assault victims and can play an important role in identifying and convicting rapists. Sometimes, though, victims go through the invasive, hours-long procedure for the evidence to be collected only to see the kits remain untested for years.

Basaldua, who is from Edinburg, Texas, wanted to understand how often — and why — that happens.

When she found few answers in the limited academic research on the topic and scant data for her to analyze, she began to build her own sets of data. Basaldua looked first at a handful of states that require law enforcement agencies to report on untested rape kits, contacting government officials to provide data and answer questions. Eventually Colorado emerged as the state where the most useful information was available.

Read the full article here.

© 2017 The Trustees of Princeton University. Back to Top
The Office of Undergraduate Research resides within the Office of the Dean of the College

Contact Us | Calendar | Website Feedback

Back to Top