WEST SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – After finding out there are at least 400,000 rape kits sitting on shelves waiting to be tested, a Long Island organization plans to offer grants to help tackle the problem.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

In 1993, Natasha Alexenko was the victim of a sexual assault.

She told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall that her rape kit sat on a shelf for nearly ten years before being tested.

Last year, she began Natasha’s Justice Project, which will soon be excepting applications for municipalities all over the country that need money to help reduce the backlog of lab work for rape kits.

LINK: Natasha’s Justice Project

“Throughout the nation, we were looking at 400,000 rape kits sitting on shelves nationwide and, of course, each kit represents a human being whose body was essentially a crime scene,” Alexenko told Hall.

The West Sayville organization will offer $125,000 in grants.

Alexenko said the suspects in these cases must be caught so they will not rape again.

Alexenko has publicly identified herself as a rape victim. She appeared in an HBO documentary last year that detailed how her attacker was finally caught after a rape kit sat on an evidence shelf for a decade.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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