Today, Lavinia works as a survivor advocate across the country, and she has played an enormous role in the work being done to clear the rape kit backlog.
At just 13 years old, Dallas resident Lavinia Masters was raped at knife-point by a by an intruder who broke into her family's home as they slept. While the police were immediately notified and a rape kit was collected from Lavinia at Parkland hospital, more than twenty-one years would pass before Lavinia's kit would finally make it's way off the shelf for testing. Once it was, and the information was put through the DNA database, Lavinia's perpetrator was finally identified. But since the statute of limitations had run out eleven years prior, it was too late for her to receive the justice that she deserved.
In the face of this devastating news, Lavinia set out on a quest to assure justice for other survivors. And that has meant advocating relentlessly for clearing the rape kit backlog and reforming the way our communities treat survivors of sexual assault.
Today, Lavinia works as a survivor advocate across the country, and she has played an enormous role in the work being done to clear the rape kit backlog. Rather than simply view the backlog as a number, Lavinia always makes sure that survivors are never forgotten. We could go on and on about what an amazing inspiration Lavinia has been to all of us here at Deeds Not Words, but we think you need to hear directly from her. Watch here (starting at the 26 minute mark) as Lavinia testifies before Congress on her experience as a survivor.
We love you, Lavinia. We're so grateful that you are fighting for survivors and humbled to be a part of your journey!