Under the renewed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), states will be required to pay for anonymous rape kits starting next year. The requirement is aimed at removing obstacles to prosecuting rape cases, reports the Associated Press.
Rape kits are usually free if the rape victim agrees to file a police report. Requiring states to pay the $800 for "Jane Doe rape kits" gives rape victims time to choose whether or not to prosecute. According to the Associated Press, the FBI has recommended that states pay for anonymous rape tests since 1999.
Anne Bean, clinical director for a rape and sexual assault counseling program in Cecil County, Maryland, said, "Many times you have people who were drunk, maybe doing drugs, maybe they’re underage, and you start talking about the police and they get scared. So, sometimes it’s not until long after [that] they’re willing to report, at which point of course any physical evidence is gone."
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that 60 percent of all rapes and sexual assault are not reported. One out of six women in the US have been victims of rape or attempted rape.
Media Resources: Associated Press 05/13/08; AHN 05/13/08; Salon 05/14/08; Feministing.com 05/14/08; RAINN Reporting Rates
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .