Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) Opposes “Do it Yourself” Rape Kits

Salt Lake City, Utah, September 4, 2019 -- Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) Opposes “Do it Yourself” Rape Kits. Students returning to classes this fall may be receiving advertising about “do to yourself” sexual assault evidence collection kits. The Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) would like survivors of rape and sexual assault to know that there is help available by calling the Statewide 24 Hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at 801-421-1100. One phone call connects a survivor with a trained rape crisis advocate who can discuss options for obtaining a medical forensic examination that includes a thorough medical evaluation, forensic evidence collection and treatment to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

UCASA understands that in the aftermath of a sexual assault, survivors may need time before deciding whether or not to participate with the criminal justice system. In Utah adult sexual assault survivors can have evidence collected and sent for analysis without being interviewed by law enforcement. It is important for survivors of rape and sexual assault to have choices that are meaningful, including the ability to preserve forensic evidence in a manner can be used to prosecute cases of sexual violence. At this time “do it yourself kits’” have multiple limitations. There is no guarantee that these kits will be accepted by law enforcement or can be analyzed by crime labs. Survivors who use these kits are not connected to important community resources including counseling, medical care and ongoing services to support them if they choose to engage with the criminal justice system. UCASA wants every survivor to be provided with individualized support and care that is often needed to start the process of healing after a sexual assault. UCASA works closely with victim advocates and sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) to make sure survivors obtain the trauma-informed and victim-centered care they need.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact SANE Program Manager, Susan Chasson at (801) 746-0404 Ext. 4.