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NJ lawmakers look to end cruelty of victims billed for rape tests

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : The state Senate today approved banning healthcare providers from billing rape victims for forensic evidence collection — what is commonly known as a “rape kit.” The measure now goes to the Assembly before, presumably, heading to Gov. Christie’s desk.

“In no other crime would it even be contemplated that victims receive an invoice for the collection of evidence needed to prosecute the offenders,“ said co-sponsor state Sen. Diane Allen (R- Burlington/Camden).

“Victims who receive a bill are needlessly forced to relive their attack all over again by the very people to whom they turned for help,” she added. “This legislation will prevent this inhumane practice in New Jersey.”

The costs of evidence collection and medical attention associated with sexual assault are required to be reimbursed to providers by the federal government.

However, medical facilities frequently send victims an invoice as a result of administrative error or in an attempt to collect payment from the victim’s insurance provider.

If approved by the Assembly and signed by Christie, the new law would guarantee that providers seek reimbursement directly from the designated government agency.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Thirty years in news and I didn’t know until today that victims are billed for “rape kits.” I can‘t believe it took this long to address.]

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