TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey lawmaker — infuriated by the prospect of rape victims being billed for the “rape kits” used in the hospitals to collect the DNA evidence — is pushing hard for a law to prevent such billings.
New Jersey state senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington/Camden) says the federal government is supposed to pick up the tab for this, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.
“In New Jersey right now, if someone is raped and evidence is collected in a rape kit, it is possible that that woman will receive a bill for the rape kit. I find that absolutely horrendous,” she told KYW Newsradio today.
So, Allen has co-sponsored a bill with Sen. James Beach of Camden County that would prohibit health care providers in the state from billing rape victims.
“If you think about it, there is absolutely no other crime where the collection of evidence is charged to the victim,” Allen fumes. “I mean, can you imagine police officiers coming to your house after a robbery, going around, collecting fingerprints, and then sending you a bill? That’s not how we do things in this country.”
The bill has passed the New Jersey State Senate and Allen hopes it will reach the governor for his signature within the next two months.
Allen says she learned the billing was sometimes occurring through a constituent tip.
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060.