“Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits”– NYT

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In today’s News York Times, Dorothy Samuels comments on”Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits.”    A few excerpts –

When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the small town began billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams.

Ms. Palin owes voters an explanation. What was the thinking behind cutting the measly few thousand dollars needed to cover the yearly cost of swabs, specimen containers and medical tests?  

. . . The insult to rape victims is obvious. So is the sexism inherent in singling them out to foot the bill for investigating their own case.  

 The Alaska legislature enacted a law in 2000 to stop the practice of billing rape victims.

“We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence,”said Alaska’s then-governor, Tony Knowles.”Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.”

However, Palin’s police chief complained

. . . that the state was requiring the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs.”I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer,”the chief explained.

Full  story and comment  here.  

- Stephanie Farrior

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