Helena has been honored to participate in panels for the National Center for Victims of Crime and the U.S. Department of Justice. She has spoken and consulted for the Joyful Heart Foundation, the Getty Foundation, and Human Rights Watch; her story has been featured in Ms., Cosmopolitan, Marie ClaireSalon, the Huffington PostJezebel, Vice, and the Los Angeles Times. Film and television appearances include Katie Couric’s Katie, …I Survived, NBC Nightly News, and her introduction of Vice President Joe Biden at the 2015 press conference where he announced $41M in funding for untested kits. After seeing Helena speak publicly, the writer of Law and Order: SVU devoted an episode to her story and the issue of the neglected rape kits entitled Behave, and she was featured in Mariska Hargitay’s award-winning documentary, I Am Evidence

Her efforts were instrumental in Mayor Villaraigosa’s sending nearly 12,000 untested kits for processing in Los Angeles; and, in 2017, she was part of a successful campaign to pass California legislation mandating the counting and tracking of rape kits—the first bill of its kind in the state. She is presently undertaking a campaign to support SB 1449, mandating the testing of all kits statewide.


The Daily Beast | Unsolved Rapes: How Testing the Rape Kit Backlog Could Solve Thousands

Marie Claire | The Dangerous Rise in Untested Rape Kits

Jezebel | The Shocking Numbers On Untested Rape Kits

Ms. Magazine | Passing the Test: Cities Chip In to Reduce the Rape Kit Backlog

CalMatters | Despite backlog of rape kits, California’s not requiring they be tested or tallied

San Francisco Chronicle | Rape-kit backlog leaves victims in fear 

Whittier Daily News | Former truck driver tied to 1996 Pico Rivera rape case   

Whittier Daily News | Serial rapist sentenced to 25 years for Pico Rivera attack



Vice | The Government Is Going To Spend $80 Million To Solve America’s Rape Kit Crisis

Chicago Tribune | Vice President Biden touts funding for rape kit testing

Jewish Times | Reducing the Backlog: Vice president, Maryland legislators highlight sexual assault kit initiative



Huffington Post | Mariska Hargitay’s Doc ‘I Am Evidence’ Is An Eye-Opening Look At The Rape Kit Backlog

People |  Mariska Hargitay Exposes the Shocking Number of Untested Rape Kits in Powerful HBO Documentary