GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — News 8 is highlighting where someone can get a rape kit done after a Kentwood woman had traumatizing experiences at two different emergency rooms.
Brittney Taylor went public in hopes others won’t face the same frustration to get an exam done.
News 8 learned Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs have become the preferred avenue for those wishing to have a rape kit done, despite hospitals being required to offer them if someone discloses an assault.
Experts believe a person should contact a local SANE resource instead of visiting an emergency room if they did not suffer other physical injuries requiring medical attention during the assault. SANE professionals are given specific training to help victims of assault, which is something medical staff in a busy emergency room may be lacking.
SANE certification also allows the organization to properly store evidence and work with law enforcement for testing, should the patient wish to pursue criminal charges.
The YWCA of West Central Michigan has been developing its program for more than 20 years. In addition to offering a 24/7 hotline, the website lays out a patient’s rights and additional information helpful to navigating the process of getting a rape kit done.
Other agencies qualified to administer a rape kit include:
- Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence in Holland;
- YWCA in Kalamazoo;
- COVE in Ludington;
- Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County in Battle Creek.
If you know of another SANE resource, but don’t see it listed above please contact Lynsey.Mukomel@woodtv.com.
Another way to identify helpful agencies in your area is through the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence website.