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Rape Victims in Louisiana Are Being Charged for Hospital Exams

TIME

Some rape victims in Louisiana are being forced to literally pay the price of their own assault.

An investigation by the Times-Picayune found that many victims of sexual assault were being billed by hospitals after they sought treatment and, in some cases, were charged thousands of dollars.

Though the Violence Against Women Act was amended in 2005 to stipulate that sexual assault victims should not be billed for medical forensic exams in the wake of their attack, the requirements only include the basics for a rape kit or SANE exam, such as “an examination of physical trauma, a determination of penetration or force, a patient interview and collection of evidence.”

“By that definition,” reports Rebecca Catalanello in the Times-Picayune, “costs for procedures that are a regular part of the SANE screening — pregnancy tests and HIV tests, among them — could be considered extra. And, in many cases…

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