• Matthew Hose

Tiburon woman works to end nationwide backlog of untested rape kits


Tiburon resident Amanda Stephens has come full circle as an advocate for sexual-assault survivors. Two decades ago, she volunteered as a hot-line counselor for the Washington D.C. Rape Crisis Center, serving as one of the first points of contact for people who have experienced sexual violence. Today, the 47-year-old Stephens works to change nationwide policy on sexual assault as a board member of the Joyful Heart Foundation. The foundation, which was created by actress Mariska Hargitay, works to address sexual assault in the U.S. through policy change, awareness campaigns and healing retreats for survivors. In particular, Joyful Heart has become the banner carrier for an effort to end a massive backlog of untested rape kits throughout the country, with a goal of reforming rape-kit laws in all 50 states by the end of 2020.

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