I just heard something on the radio so outlandish and infuriating I think I must have misunderstood. I’m hoping, anyway:
Apparently, rape victims in Missouri are billed for their rape kits. They have to pay for their evidence collection.
Could this be true…?
THIRD EDIT: From Senator Michael Gibbons’ website:
“Imagine how you would feel if your home were burglarized and you were told you would have to pay for the evidence collection necessary to identify, arrest, and prosecute the burglar. That’s what happens to rape victims,” Bennett [Barbara Bennett, Executive Director of Women’s Support and Community Services in St. Louis] said. “I am very grateful to Sen. Gibbons for sponsoring this important legislation. I hope people will pick up their phones today and call their State Senators and Representatives to urge them to vote for this bill.”
Yep, Kelly Sue is right. In fact, there’s a bill up in the state senate right now concerning this: http://www.senate.mo.gov/07info/bills/sb429.htm
EDITED TO ADD: I haven’t found a definitive answer to my question yet, but I did find this bit, which appears to be from a Truman State University newspaper in 2003:
An added challenge is that rape
victims have to pay for the evidence
to be collected when they report the
crime, LeBaron said.
“I don’t know how this crime got
to be treated so differently from
other crimes,” LeBaron said. “When
rape victims go to the hospital, they
are billed for that. State programs
can help pay for the testing, but only
as long as the victim agrees to pros-