Attorney General Tong discourages victims from using DIY rape testing kits

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong has issued a warning about companies he said could be misleading rape victims.

Tong’s office has launched an investigation into the so-called “do-it-yourself rape kits.”

The kits allow victims to collect evidence themselves instead of going to police or the hospital.

Tong said the issue is that there’s no guarantee that the DIY evidence collection will be admissible in court.

He also noted that the use of these kits could destroy evidence, seriously jeopardizing the ability of rape survivors to get justice.

“We don’t know that they’re reliable,” he said. “We don’t know that they will be admissible in court, and what’s worse, they could provide a victim with a false sense of security about the evidence that they’re collecting.”

“The real sexual assault examination kits are first and foremost free, as we’ve spoken of, whereas these at-home kits are being sold for $29.95,” added Asia Nhatavong, Justice Coordinator at the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

The kits were once sold on Amazon but have since been removed from the website.

Tong sent letters manufactures MeToo Kit and the Preserve Group, asking them for more information.

But Tong isn’t the only attorney general that has reached out to the company.

In September, New York’s attorney general sent the companies cease-and-desist letters. Letitia James, who became New York’s top law enforcement official earlier in 2019, also asked them to stop advertising and selling their sexual assault evidence 

After the letter, MeToo Kit founder, Madison Campbell, told BuzzFeed News that she won’t stop making them.

“I believe in this so much that I am willing to fight,” Campbell told BuzzFeed News Thursday. “I will never stop fighting and if that requires legislation to change, then I will stand up in court and I will make sure survivors have the right to take control of their own body.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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