AG News Release: Attorney General 2019-57 Hawaii Attorney General Cautions Use of MeToo Kits

Posted on Sep 12, 2019 in Latest News

HONOLULU – Attorney General Clare E. Connors is urging the public, and organizations such as universities and other educational institutions, not to purchase or distribute MeToo Kits, which are being marketed as the first at-home rape kits.

According to the MeToo Kit Company website, these kits will be distributed to select universities and eventually offered for sale to individuals by the New York-based MeToo Kits Company. They claim they are designed for sexual assault victims to self-collect scientific evidence outside of a medical facility or other controlled environment.

“What this company fails to tell you is that in Hawaii, a forensic exam is provided at no cost to sexual assault victims, by a health care professional, with advocates who will help the victim understand the exam and criminal justice process” said Attorney General Connors. “Trained sexual assault forensic examiners and nurses, prosecutors, victim advocates, and police agencies from across the state work diligently to 1) ensure forensic medical exam protocols are followed, 2) minimize victim retraumatization, 3) address the needs of victims, 4) test the sex assault evidence collection kits, and 5) hold offenders accountable by ensuring the evidence collected can be used for prosecution purposes.”

On August 30, 2019, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence stated, “We do not advise anyone to use an at-home rape kit as a viable alternative to a forensic exam. We also do not advise that any college or university encourage students to use this product or make it available for use. Me Too Kit has provided no information to explain how these kits will be admissible in court and how the proper chain of custody will be followed. Though Me Too Kit has stated that they have consulted with prosecutors who approve of their kits, they have provided no names of individual prosecutors or state and national prosecutor associations who have endorsed the product.”

The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General will continue to closely follow the matter to determine if additional actions are needed.

If you are a victim of sexual assault call 911 and the sexual assault service provider in your area:

Oahu

  • Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center

808-524-7273 (24-hour hotline)

Kauai

  • YWCA of Kauai, Sexual Abuse Treatment Program 808-245-4144 (24-hour hotline)

Maui

  • Child and Family Service, Maui Sexual Assault Center 808-873-8624 (24-hour hotline)

Hawaii Island

  • YWCA of Hawaii Island, Sexual Assault Support Services 808-935-0677 (24-hour hotline)

For those interested in the status of their sexual assault evidence collection kits or information about the Hawaii Sexual Assault Kit Initiative’s Project Malama Kakou, please visit the website at http://ag.hawaii.gov/hisaki/.

 

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For more information, contact:

 

Krishna F. Jayaram

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284

Email: [email protected]

Web: http://ag.hawaii.gov

Twitter: @ATGHIgov