Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Progress on rape kit backlog; Women entrepreneurs

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 16, 2017 4:22 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, May 16, 2017:

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported last year that there were 3,044 untested rape kits sitting on shelves at the state's police stations or labortories.  Of that number, 1,852 were "backlogged" meaning they hadn't been tested and had been sitting for over a year.

Since that report was issued last September, about 700 of the backlogged rape kits were tested and more police departments are sending kits to be tested.

Considering 2,932 sexual assaults were reported in Pennsylvania in 2015, including 262 men, and it's estimated that 66% of rapes aren't reported, sexual assault continues to be a serious problem.  Although the backlog of rape kits isn't the only factor, far less arrests -- 863 to be exact -- were made in 2015.

Auditor General DePasquale and Kristen Houser of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape appear on Tuesday's Smart Talk to explain why there continues to be a holdup in testing rape kits and the ramifications of not testing them.

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Kristen Houser - Chief Public Affairs Officer, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape / Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale

Also, Central Pennsylvania's largest one-day business conference for women - the Business Women's Forum - will be held at Messiah College Wednesday.  There are nearly one million small businesses in Pennsylvania and access to capital is their number one barrier to starting in the first place and growing.  A few months ago on Smart Talk, we heard this is especially true for some women who start their own businesses.

Joining us on the program are Sheri Collins, Deputy Secretary Office of Technology and Innovation with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and Patti Husic, President and CEO of Centric Bank/Doctor Centric Bank.

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