LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Every year, thousands of women are victimized by rape and every month our Rape Crisis Center sees 40 to 60 victims at local hospitals.
The numbers are staggering but victims say the help they get from law enforcement is not.
Law enforcement officials point to a DNA backlog as the prime example.
News 3 talked to one of those victims who now works as an advocate and says changes need to happen.
“I’m 36-year-old and I’m just now starting to remember,” said Carmel Gadsen. “Literally since the last time i spoke to you. I woke up and said i don’t want to remember but I need to. you don’t want to but you need to so you can heal and move on,” she said.
Gadsen's life changed in a just a a few moments.
She was just a child when she was brutally raped. Every decision she made since then has been motivated, in some part, by that crime.
It launched her down a dangerous life path and led her into the arms of a man who sexually abused her.
“You’re talking about 25 years, maybe 30, maybe even 35, of something that made me make some not so good decisions in my life,” she said.
That man, the father of her children is now in prison. Emery Slayden, convicted of killing a two-year-old and while he sits in a cell, Gadsen marches for victims.
Walking side by side with other victims. She is doing something that she couldn't do for so many years -- fight.
“We should stand with each other and walk that person, that human being through what they’re going through and not make what theyre going through feel wrong,” Gadsen said.
Gadsen's rapist was never caught.
Charges have never been filed, questions remain.
She said if she could go back to that day she would make a decision most woman just like her don't make and she would get a rape kit which provide a chance to get her attacker’s DNA and maybe a shot at justice
You might be surprised, as we were, and Gadsen was, to learn how many of those rape kits are sitting right now on evidence room shelves untested.