(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CARE2’)
Stop Charging Rape Victims for Post-Assault Medical Care
- by: Andrew M
- target: US Congress
According to current law, you can be billed for medical treatment you received after a rape. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in. Right now, the government allows hospitals to charge rape victims and their private insurers for additional costs after a rape. Thus one’s emotional trauma can often come with a high financial burden.
Currently, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), requires states to pay for rape kits. But there are often extra costs that are passed on to the victim. Pain medication, antibiotics, HIV prevention drugs, emergency contraceptives and other treatments aren’t guaranteed by the VAWA and they are not cheap. In fact, in 2013, women victims of rape paid out nearly 1.26 million dollars to cover extra medical costs. That’s nearly $1000 per person.
In no other instance are victims of violent crimes responsible for footing the bill for injuries the incurred. Rape victims shouldn’t be charged either.
The VAWA is up for reauthorization next year and it is time that Congress put an end to this practice by updating VAWA’s language to ensure all rape-related medical expenses are covered by the state.
Please sign this petition to voice your support for an updated VAWA that covers all rape-related medical expenses are covered by the states.
The Violence Against Women Act provides victims of sexual assault, rape and violence with the rights they deserve after such a harrowing experience. Yet, I recently learned that rape victims can actually be billed for the medical treatment they require after an assault. This is not the case for other violent crime victims and it shouldn’t be the case with rape victims. Please rectify this by updating the VAWA to ensure the state covers all rape-related medical expenses a victim may incur.
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