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OK Attorney General warns against "at-home" rape kits

Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 19:37:01-04

"Earlier this week the office became aware that two companies, the Me-Too kit company, and the Preserve kit were fraudulently marketing at-home sexual assault forensic kits in Oklahoma," says Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

The Oklahoma attorney general, now suing two companies over "do-it-yourself” rape kits.

Rape survivors are also speaking out against them.

" The “Me-Too kit” gives victims, I believe, false hope and does not address health or mental concerns that survivors face." Says Danielle Tudor.

Tudor is an outspoken advocate and survivor of sexual assault.

She believes these kits would deny victims access to critical care.

Things like advocates, trained nurses, medical attention, medications and ultimately, the justice they're searching for.

“So let me tell you what this “Me-Too” rape kit cannot do. This rape kit cannot take the place of the law enforcement officer who responded to my call for help. She had to guide a terrified 17-year-old girl to help her understand what had just happened to her and the importance of having a rape kit done for evidence."

Sgt Jillian Phippen of the special victims unit represented Tulsa police at today’s briefing in Oklahoma city.

So far the department has not seen anyone using these kits, but they say they won't accept them.

They say they don't follow the chain of custody--and they would likely be thrown out in court.

“It would be a nightmare in court, we believe, so proper evidence collection and proper medical attention is what we want our victims to receive.” Says Tulsa police Sgt Shane Tuell.

Advocates also warn that without trained nurses there would be missed evidence, and the victim would have to testify on the collection process-- putting them in a situation to re-live even more trauma.

If you are the victim of sexual assault the OK Attorney General urges you to seek professional medical attention and to report the crime immediately.

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