Get Empowered: Jane Doe Kits Decrease Stigma for Victimized Women

Date rape is an obvious issue on college campuses. With all the booze, bars and lack of authority figures, many girls are forced to make decisions about their bodies for the first time. And sometimes, things can go terribly wrong.

And when things do go wrong, the victim is left feeling completely powerless. Not only were they victim to a horrendous crime, there is often a serious stigma attached to reporting a rape. Women may feel ashamed, scared, embarrassed and dirty – and the last thing they want to do is call up the local PD or hospital right after experiencing such an intense physical and psychological trauma. And to have to decide immediately whether to press charges? Not as simple as it sounds.

But there is now a federal requirement that says states must fund what are called “Jane Done rape kits.” Basically, these “hospital-administered kits that are sealed and identified with a number, not a name” will give the victims the opportunity to study up and take time to decide whether to prosecute the offender. All the information about the rape will remain in the sealed “kit” if they decide to press charges–but they are not pressured to make the decision on the spot.

Read more about the rape kits at CBS here.

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