A home rape package introduced in response to the # MeToo movement has led to slack in experts who are concerned about the ability to help survivors of sexual violence when compared to hospital-conducted studies.
The MeToo Kit was established as the first home rape set on the market for survivors of sexual attacks. The kit contains cotton swabs for the victim to collect the evidence and then seal before it is taken to the police or a Title IX office.
But the product has faced a backlash from experts who claim that the kit is not as thorough as a rape test in a hospital environment, and it may not be permissible in court.
Innovative or dangerous? MeToo Kit, a Brooklyn-based company, launched a home rape kit
The product: the kit, still for sale, makes it possible for assault victims to make their own cotton buds at home and then take the kit to the police or Title IX office
The founder of MeToo Kit, Madison Campbell, told DailyMail.com that the aim of the company was to empower the victim by giving them the ability to control the collection of evidence after their attack.
"We believe it must be a right of a survivor to collect this evidence from the comfort of their own home," Campbell said. & # 39; We believe this product has the potential to empower survivors and preserve time-sensitive DNA evidence. & # 39;
The kits are not yet available for purchase, but that does not prevent experts from judging the product before it is released.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released one press release blasts the Brooklyn-based New York company for its home product and starts a chain of slack for the MeToo Kit.
& # 39; We are very concerned about these sales and the statements they have made, & # 39 ;, Nessel said in a statement.
The Attorney General's concern was that the victim of sexual violence would not receive a full forensic investigation after a rape. Hospitals not only swab a victim for evidence, but also provide STDs and pregnancy tests, including treatments, during the examination.
Nessel also accused the young company of violating the Consumer Protection Act of Michigan by telling consumers that it would be a suitable replacement for a visit to the hospital.
& # 39; This company is shamelessly trying to take advantage of the & # 39; Me Too & # 39; movement by luring victims into thinking that a sexual assault package used at home is coming to court, & said Nessel.
& # 39; Nothing is further from the truth. Career prosecutors know that evidence gathered in this way would not provide the necessary security chain. & # 39;
Campbell challenged the idea that the home rape kit discouraged victims from seeking medical help.
Concerned: Attorney General Dana Nessel from Michigan published a release advising people not to buy the kit. This inspired the North Carolina Attorney General to release a similar statement (photo)
Problematic: experts were concerned about the possibility of products being admissible in court if they are done at home instead of in a hospital
& # 39; I am not suggesting that survivors use the kit and refrain from taking a health exam, & # 39; she said. & # 39; We believe that every survivor should be encouraged to find the right healthcare after an attack and we encourage users to do so, but there is still a large proportion of survivors who never get the chance to go to the hospital to go. & # 39;
She has shared statistics from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) with the report that approximately 77 percent of sexual attacks are not reported.
& # 39; Personally, after my sexual assault, I didn't even want to touch myself – let alone anyone could touch my body or comfort me, & # 39; said Campbell. & # 39; I'm not the only one and there are plenty of people sharing similar stories. & # 39;
The Michigan Attorney General's response to MeToo Kit encouraged other experts to make similar statements against the company, including North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.
& # 39; This company has a dangerous and misleading product that is trying to get people to take advantage of the most vulnerable & # 39 ;, Stein warned in his statement.
& # 39; Although I certainly understand that a victim would rather have a sexual assault exam at home, there are trained nurses throughout our state who can take these exams in a way that ensures that victims receive the health care they need – and that Law enforcement officers have access to evidence that is permissible in court. & # 39;
It is the federal law for hospitals to offer victims of sexual violence free research, so the potential financial impact is not a problem for anyone seeking treatment. One of Campbell's goals for her own company is that it can also fund the kit, so that the & # 39; survivor never has to pay & # 39 ;.
Concern about the kit's admissibility in court is another major concern that critics of the kit raise.
The FAQ section on the MeToo Kit website states that there is a & # 39; step-by-step plan & # 39; is prepared to the kit by the correct & # 39; chain of custody & # 39; to let go. But the company does not guarantee that it can be used in court.
Relieve the concern: MeToo Kit founder Madison Campbell told DailyMail.com that the kit was made to empower survivors by collecting their own evidence
To alleviate these concerns, Campbell said she worked with several lawyers to further develop the kit so that it would be acceptable in courtrooms.
& # 39; We would like to collaborate with Michigan AG and AG & # 39; s across the country to create the strongest possible product & # 39 ;, she said. & # 39; We believe this is a crucial time for allies who support survivors of sexual abuse to serve the population who choose not to report or fall outside the traditional criminal justice system. & # 39;
MeToo Kit specifically has a & # 39; University Pilot Program & # 39; launched for its product for middle-aged students.
& # 39; We at MeToo Kit believe that the documentation process is a major deterrent to students reporting these violent crimes, & # 39; the website says, adding: & # 39; & # 39; Documentation can be a difficult process, and some students may not have required the right transportation, financial resources, facilities, and confidence to move forward.
& # 39; The MeToo Kit enables sexual violence survivors to document crucial DNA evidence within their chosen area of safety and in a timely manner, thereby preserving the documentation according to the standard according to which courts would be admissible. & # 39 ;
According to Crowds, a video from MeToo Kit already claimed to collaborate with universities such as New York University, University of Toronto and Syracuse University.
This video has since been deleted and all three universities claim that there is no agreement with the company.
Campbell said that the kickback led to the launch of the MeToo Kit surprised the company because they don't have to sell a single kit yet.
& # 39; Given that we are at an early stage of development and have not yet shipped or sold kits to anyone, yes, we were surprised & # 39 ;, she said. & # 39; A significant part of the development means that the hardware and software of the kit can meet legal and scientific standards. & # 39;
Despite criticism, the MeToo Kit company plans to develop the product and work with experts to resolve potential problems.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) femail