Posted: January 4, 2016 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

Is it Ever Okay For a Hospital to Not “Do” Rape Kits?

After enduring a horrific sex crime, the last thing most women want is to have a doctor preform an exam. Unfortunately, if a woman is to proceed with pressing charges, an exam and collection of evidence (known as a rape kit) is par for the course. One Florida hospital however, has taken heat lately for telling an officer they don’t “do” rape kits after a woman was taken there via ambulance. They recommended she be taken to another hospital…one that was 46 miles away.

Now, many are wondering how it is possible for any hospital to turn away a woman in the wake of a horrific sexual crime.

Fortunately this incident did not escape unnoticed. In the state of Florida failure to provide emergency services is against the state licensure requirements for hospitals. In December, the hospital paid the fine – a mere $2000.

It has certainly shed some light on an area of the health care world many of us hope to never have to consider. The idea that any hospital would deny a woman the right to have evidence collected (and her health examined) in light of trauma seems archaic  these days.

While no woman is under any obligation to press chargers against her attacker, a rape kit does give a woman the evidence she needs to take the matter to police if she chooses. In addition to gathering evidence, rape kits include a full exam to check for any damage and allow doctors to administer treatment if needed.

Hopefully the recent coverage of this event will put the pressure on any other emergency care facility that does not currently offer rape kits.

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