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 Claire, Salon, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, 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.
MORE ABOUT HELENA’S CASE:
The Daily Beast | Unsolved Rapes: How Testing the Rape Kit Backlog Could Solve Thousands
Marie Claire | The Dangerous Rise in Untested Rape Kits
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
PUBLIC SPEAKING COVERAGE:
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