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The High Cost of Sexual Assault

From the Ancorage Daily News:

Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill — signed into law by Knowles — that banned the practice statewide.

“There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla’s newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

“(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests,” the newspaper reported.

It’s unclear how much Palin personally had to do with the policy, but her appointed police chief objected to its end, and I’m assuming that the mayor of the town could have set a place for it in the budget. However, what’s just as disturbing to me is that the town of Wasilla with its population of 5500 at the time could possible have enough rapes per year to need $14,000 to pay for the exams. That’s possibly 46! Granted the interviewed police chief gives a range of $5,000 to $14,000 and the article says exams cost $300 to $1200, but if you take the mean of both you’re looking at a budget for 12 rapes per year…in a town of 5500. Generally in the US you’re looking at 0.3 rapes per 1000 so in a town of 5500 you’d expect between one and two annually.

Something’s rotten in the town of Wasilla. Damn.

  1. Timothy says:

    I have one more than that, so much like SpinalTap…I go to 11. Where 11 = 43.

  2. Sakaki says:

    HA! You fail! It isn’t 42! And 42 is the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything!

    To quote Willy Wonka: “You LOSE! Good DAY!”

    (NOTE: I’m being facetious and having fun and wanted a chance to use a WW quote)

  3. Timothy says:

    Man, you’ve not been keeping score very long Sakaki, my blogscore ’round these parts is at least 43.

  4. Sakaki says:

    Jim Gehraghty, 1; Dreier, 0.

  5. Joe Doaks says:

    From Jim Geraghty on NRO, and USA Today:

    Six Points to Consider When Reading About Wasilla’s Policy on Rape Kits

    A few points to consider when you hear about the town of Wasilla, and its egregious former policy of charging rape victims for rape kits, a topic USA Today examined today.

    1. It is indeed a terrible policy to charge a rape victim for the cost of collecting evidence to prosecute. But these charges occur, even in places where the law theoretically bans it. According to a 2008 U.S. News and World Report article, some Illinois rape victims are still being charged for the rape kits.

    The state seemed to address this in a 2001 law, but it would seem that as usual, passing a law and getting a bureaucracy to comply are two different things.

    2. Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella told USA Today in an e-mail that the governor “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.” Her critics can legitimately ask why, as mayor, she didn

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