Generally speaking, it’s a terrible idea to joke about rape kits.
But Funny or Die, natch, has found a way to make satirical comedy out of the way police departments handle the DNA evidence collected after a sexual assault.
In the 1980s spoof unveiled Thursday, Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany is Linda, a woman with a very practical solution (wink, wink) for a co-worker who has to convince the police department not to destroy the DNA evidence from her sexual assault before it’s tested for a potential match.
It may sound like an unbelievable premise, but it actually happens to countless survivors because the laws preserving rape kit evidence vary from state to state, and the backlogs to test DNA are notoriously long in certain states. An audit of New Mexico’s backlog found the state had the worst rate in the nation, with 254 untested kits for every 100,000 residents.
The video is part of an awareness-raising campaign by Rise, a nonprofit that advocates for improved state and federal protections for sexual assault survivors.
In the skit, Linda is super bummed that her friend Monica (Tori Anderson from No Tomorrow) can’t make a concert because she needs to visit the police station and “repetition them not to destroy my rape kit.”
Monica has a hard time remembering to do this, and Linda can relate.
“That happens to me all the time,” she says. “That’s why I finally caved and bought myself a sexual assault survivor’s utility belt.”
The bulky, rhinestone-encrusted accessory includes a 6-month timer to keep track of necessary police station visits, hard copies of every state law, and a water gun to wake a person up from a “scream coma.”
“That’s just to spray myself awake when I fall into a scream coma every time I think about how f*cked up these laws are,” says Linda, with a big smile.
Monica can’t believe her eyes. And neither should you.