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Cruelty of sex assault victims paying for rape tests ends in N.J.

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Christie today banned healthcare providers from billing rape victims for forensic evidence collection — what is commonly known as a “rape kit” — signing into law a measure sponsored by a group of Assemblywomen that ends the inhumane practice.

The costs of evidence collection and medical attention associated with sexual assault are required to be reimbursed to providers by the federal government.

However, medical facilities frequently have sent victims an invoice as a result of administrative error or in an attempt to collect payment from the victim’s insurance provider.

Not anymore.

The new law guarantees that providers seek reimbursement directly from the designated government agency.

“This is simply the right thing to do,” said Assemblywomen Annette Quijano (D-Union). “Sexual assault victims have already suffered enough.”

Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden) said the law “will give common-sense support to victims when they need it the most.”

The 10-year-old statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program provides for forensic sexual assault examinations to sexual assault victims — conducted by physicians or certified forensic sexual assault nurse examiners – by each county.

The program’s intent is to ensure the needs of sexual assault victims are met in a compassionate manner and that forensic evidence is collected and handled appropriately so that it can be used in prosecutions.

The new law keeps victims from having to pay for forensic sexual assault examinations that include routine medical screening, medications for prophylaxis of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, supplies, equipment and use of space.






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