MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Victims’ advocates are speaking out against rape kits that are being marketed for home use.
The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault says they're concerned that kits are being offered for sale, particularly on college campuses.
MNCASA says there’s no need to pay for such a kit since state and federal law already require forensic medical exam be available at no cost to survivors of sexual assault.
They also caution that at–home kits have no chain of custody for evidence, raising issues with admissibility in court.
Advocates say trained professionals play a vital role in helping victims.
“We want victims/survivors to have an interaction with a medical professional because the kit is not just about collecting evidence. It’s also about the comprehensive health of that victim/survivor,” Jude Smith, a member with the MNCASA, said.
Foster says a forensic medical exam also provides access to treatment options for STI and pregnancy prevention and helps connect survivors to a trained, confidential sexual assault counselor.
We’ve linked to some online resources below.