Lifetime Pushes for Quicker Rape Cases

Lifetime Television said Wednesday it has launched an online petition drive in support of new legislation that would ensure timelier handling of rape cases.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will introduce the 'Debbie Smith Act' to the
Senate on Thursday, March 21.

The legislation would ensure that hospital examiners are better trained to
collect evidence of sexual assault, and that law enforcement personnel examine
genetic evidence in a timelier manner.

According to a Lifetime press release, it takes an average of 18 months after
a rape has been committed for the DNA evidence to be processed, often leaving a
rapist free to commit additional acts of violence.

The Debbie Smith Act was named for a Virginia victim. In her case, the DNA
was not analyzed for six years.

As part of its ongoing campaign against violence towards women, Lifetime will
run on-air spots directing viewers to its web site,, where they can sign the