AN AMERICAN company is planning to sell “at-home rape kits”, claiming that they could function as “a symbol of protection and hopeful deterrent to assault”.
The kit, which is yet to go on sale, allows for sexual assault victims to do their own DNA collection at home and then take the kit into the police or Title IX office.
MeToo Kit founder Madison Campbell has stated the kit was created to empower survivors by them collecting their own evidence The Downtown Brooklyn company says on its website. “Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice.”
But legal and sex assault experts were horrified at the idea, saying its results wouldn’t hold up in court and accusing the company of trying to take economic advantage of the MeToo movement.
The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault said that it was “deeply disturbed to learn about the existence of a commercial rape kit.”
Lauren Hersh, a former Brooklyn sex crimes prosecutor, said that although she understands “the rationale” behind the product, she still finds it “deeply problematic.”
“We find the ‘MeToo Kits’ not only morally and legally irresponsible, but completely misleading to survivors of sexual assault,”
Hersh added that victims of sexual assault treating themselves also poses problems.
“There can be serious health consequences and that person likely needs medical attention to deal with any sort of STD, pregnancy … any other injuries,” Hersh said.
Despite criticisms, the MeToo Kit company intends to develop the product and work with experts to fix any potential problems.