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Years After Sexual Assault, Survivors Hounded To Pay Bills For The Rape Kit Exam


Added 07-10-19 05:06:02am EST - “Under federal law, people sexually assaulted don't have to pay for their medical forensic exams. Yet some have trouble getting the hospitals or collection agencies to stop dunning them for payment.” - Npr.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Npr.org: “Years After Sexual Assault, Survivors Hounded To Pay Bills For The Rape Kit Exam”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

For 25 years, the federal Violence Against Women Act has required any state that wants to be eligible for certain federal grants to certify that the state covers the cost of medical forensic exams for people who have been sexually assaulted. Christian Science Monitor/Getty hide caption

For 25 years, the federal Violence Against Women Act has required any state that wants to be eligible for certain federal grants to certify that the state covers the cost of medical forensic exams for people who have been sexually assaulted.

Six years ago, a newly minted graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was working three part-time jobs and adjusting to life as a non-student. She stopped in for a drink one night at a restaurant in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, where she got into a conversation with a guy. The next thing she remembers clearly was awakening at home the next morning, aching, covered in bruises, with a swollen lip.

She believed she had been raped and went to the local police station to file a report. The police sent her to a hospital emergency room nearby where, with her permission, a doctor did a medical forensic exam, checking her for injuries and taking evidence from her body and clothes to potentially use in a prosecution case. The exam took hours and made her even more miserable.

As time passed and the woman tried to move past the assault, she received regular, unwelcome reminders: bills from the hospital and emergency physicians group that treated her.

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