More on the Rape Exam Issue

Rachel is all over the folks who seem almost deliberately obtuse about what the problem with shipping rape victims to General is.  Again, General might be a wonderful place.  Doesn’t matter.  We’re a big county and folks should be able to be examined near their homes.

I would just highlight that the letter to the editor that agrees with Rachel is written by a Tiny Cat Pants reader.  Hurray!

Also, just now, the governor is going to sign a bill that would have the state cover the cost of the rape exam.  Yes, America, you heard that right.  Until Thursday, June 21st, 2007, unless you were “lucky” enough to be raped in one of four counties that provide free rape kits here in Tennessee, you had to foot the bill–anywhere from $600-1,000–for the collection of evidence of a crime committed against you.

Lord almighty.  That about does me in.

But check out that first letter to the editor:  “NGH evaluates over 900 sexual assault victims each year with children comprising the largest number of victims.”

If it’s true that less than half of sexual assaults are even reported, that’s about 2,000 sexual assaults a year.  There are only 578,698 people in Davidson county.  Two thousand sexual assaults a year seems like a shit ton.  Hell, there are only 131,000 children in Davidson County.  What the fuck is wrong with people?  There are about six rapes a day in Davidson County?  General is processing three rape victims a day?

People, do you hear what Sue Fort White is telling you?  Three rape victims a day every day and the largest group of those is children.

I’ve got nothing to say to that.  It’s so gross I am speechless.

5 thoughts on “More on the Rape Exam Issue

  1. you had to foot the bill–anywhere from $600-1,000–for the collection of evidence of a crime committed against you.


    Just No.

    That is so unbelievably wrong…

  2. I’m trying not to be too cynical about why the State is going to now pay for these, but “State failure to assume the cost of forensic exams by Jan. 1, 2009, would jeopardize the state’s annual U.S. Department of Justice grant of about $2.5 million.” The article also said some people’s bills had been turned over to collection agencies.

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  4. I’d like to point out to Katherine that this is one of the reasons that government and taxation exist – to spread the costs of such things and to reduce the disincentive to reporting. The rape victim still pays for her rape kit and other people’s rape kits – it’s just that she/he pays only a small portion of the cost through general taxation and does not have to cover the whole of it at the point of need.

    If one took an extremely anti-government/ anti-tax position one could say that the rape victim could recover the cost from the perpetrator. But we all know how unlikely that would be. There’s a societal benefit to catching and prosecuting and removing rapists from the general population. And anything that’s a disincentive (i.e. charging for rape kits, unpleasant – and perhaps expensive – transfers to a single hospital) should be removed.

    Plus it just seems so blechhy wrong – adding expense to injury and insult.

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