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26 years in, the Violence Against Women's Act hangs in limbo - While COVID-19 fuels domestic violence surge (USA Today, September, 2020)

"As COVID-19 appears to be fueling spikes in domestic violence, the Violence Against Women Act - the landmark legislation that enshrined federal protections and support for survivors - has emerged as a focal point of Joe Biden's presidential campaign. But for now, the law remains in a legislative limbo that could have sever health impacts - particularly during the pandemic."


Sexual Violence Victims' Medical Bills Covered in Gov't Experiment  (NLTIMES.NL, August 2020)

From September 1, victims of sexual violence who seek help from a center for sexual violence (CSG) within seven days will be reimbursed for their medical costs. With this year-long trial the Ministries of Justice and Security and Public Health want to see whether reimbursing medical costs removes a barrier to seeking help.”


Years After Sexual Assault, Survivors Hounded To Pay Bills For The Rape Kit Exam (NPR, July 2019)   PODCAST

"There's often a disconnect between the emergency room personnel that take care of the person and the billing department that sends out the bills," says Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, CEO of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, professionals who have specialized training in how to evaluate and care for victims of violent crime or abuse."


Despite federal protections, rape victims still get billed for forensic exams (Kaiser Health news, July 2019)

"For 25 years, the federal Violence Against Women Act has required any state that wants to be eligible for certain federal grants to certify that the state covers the cost of medical forensic exams for people who have been sexually assaulted. Subsequent reauthorizations clarified that these individuals can’t be required to participate with law enforcement to get an exam, nor do they have to pay anything out-of-pocket for it, even if they would be reimbursed later."

New York City hospitals to repay victims charged for rape kits (The Associated Press, Nov 2018) 
"The attorney general’s office started looking into rape kit billing after it received a complaint that a sex assault victim was billed seven separate times for a forensic rape exam at Brooklyn Hospital Center.

It said it found pervasive failures to advise patients of their payment options and widespread unlawful billing of victims, with bills issued by the six hospitals ranging from approximately $46 to $3,000 each."  

Rape victims in the U.S. made to pay part of the medical bill (Reuters Health, April 2017) 

“With other violent crimes, victims are not responsible for paying for the damage that results from the crime,” lead author Ashley Tennessee told Reuters Health. “Many people know sexual assault is an issue, but they’re often unaware that victims have to pay for associated medical charges,” said Tennessee, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston."


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