(CBS Connecticut) — State officials today announced that they have received a pair of grants will allow the DNA testing of about 2,000 sexual assault evidence kits.

Some kits had only been partially tested previously. Other kits had waited in police departments for years, because victims did not want to press charges, or because police departments thought the kits should only be sent to the lab when an arrest was near.

Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane says results can be fed into a national crime database.

“You may get a match for another, unsolved sexual assault,” Kane said. “You may find that a person who was thought to have committed an isolated sexual assault has committed others… So this is very important.”

Several years ago, the state Police Forensic Lab lost its federal accreditation, as a backlog of untested crime scene evidence grew longer. Accreditation was later restored.

Former director of the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education Cathy Malloy says she has been there, to support victims who go through a difficult process as evidence is collected from their bodies.

“To think that all that you have been through, and all the courage it took to get you there to that point… That the evidence that was collected will sit on a shelf,” Malloy said.

Sexual assault kits that have never been tested should be processed by the spring.

Partially-tested kits should be fully tested over the next 2-years.

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