CLEVELAND -- It's a nationwide problem -- a huge backlog of untested rape kits.
More than 400,000 kits nationwide have yet to be examined for potentially case-solving DNA.
Cleveland police, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine have all now made it a priority to test every kit possible.
Cleveland Council's Safety Committee heard an update on the kit testing picture Wednesday.
Safety Director Marty Flask, Police Chief Michael McGrath, Assistant County Prosecutor Rick Bell and Rape Crisis Center President Sondra Miller gave an overview.
According to DeWine's office, Cleveland's submitted 2,167 rape kits as part of his initiative. A total of 1109 kits have been tested.
There have been 449 DNA hits. And 1,158 kits have yet to be done.
DeWine's hiring six more lab technicians to work full time on backlogged kits. That makes a total of 10.
Allyssa Allison is proof this is a story about people, not numbers.
She was raped about 20 years ago in her apartment on Cleveland's West Side.
But except for the original detective, she feels police did little on her case.
"I kind of gave up. I didn't think they took me seriously. ... My calls were unreturned. ... I had to keep calling and say don't forget about me. ... Our rape kits were on a shelf and they were collecting dust," she said.
Then this summer she got word that her test had a DNA hit.
It identified her former landlord as her rapist. And other kits connected him to several other women.
"The fact that there were other victims he had raped, really made me sick," she said.
While many are praising authorities for finally getting kits tested, Alyssa says it's about time.
"I do like DeWine. He's taking this seriously. ... But 20 years is way too long," she said.
Millet told the committee that while reported rapes increased in Cleveland in 2012 and are likely to again in 2013, it's a good sign.
"I don't think it means more rapes are happening in Cleveland. I think it means we have created an atmosphere where women are more comfortable reporting it," she said.