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States Must Pay for Anonymous Rape Exams


Trauma and embarrassment prevent many rape victims from seeking medical help or contacting authorities immediately. In an effort to resolve more rape cases, anonymous rape kits will be available at hospitals, colleges, and clinics. This way, after the shock has worn off, and a victim decides to press charges, it will not be too late to present evidence.

Here's how it will work — rape kits include bags and other storage materials for physical evidence like hair, semen, or skin. During the exam, injuries are also photographed. Unlike typical exam kits, the evidence collected with anonymous kits will be stored in a sealed and numbered envelope, only to be opened by police if the victim requests it.

If states want to keep federal funding toward law enforcement and women shelters, provided by the Violence Against Women Act, they will have to pay for these "Jane Doe" rape exams kits, at $800 each.

Considering that as many as 60 percent of rapes are not reported, do you think this is a responsible way to enforce rape laws and make the community safer? What about the victims — will they be more likely to show their faces at a clinic if they know the evidence will be kept secret until they say otherwise?

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