The blogosphere is reporting that when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, in the late 1990s, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s municipal police department charged rape victims for the “rape kit” used to collect the forensic evidence necessary to convict their attackers. According to reports, this changed in 2000 when then Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles signed a bill protecting rape victims from being charged. As I wrote recently, however, the situation described in Wasilla is not unique. In all too many instances, women are still being stuck with the bill for rape kits. This despite the fact that in order to qualify for federal grants under the Violence Against Women Act, states are supposed to pick up the entire tab.
Knowles was the man Palin defeated BTW.
The irony here is that the “Violence Against Women Act” was, and has been, Biden’s baby.
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law. It was passed as Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 HR 3355 and signed as Public Law 103-322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. It provided $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of the violent crime perpetrated against women, increased pre-trial detention of the accused, provided for automatic and mandatory restitution of those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted.
VAWA was drafted by Senator Joseph Biden‘s office with support from a number of advocacy organizations including Legal Momentum and The National Organization for Women, which heralded the bill as “the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades.”
The act was opposed by Sen. John McCain.
Just to be clear, and to on one’s surprise, Obama is for it and Palin hasn’t been told what to say yet (hey, she’s not on the record and doesn’t answer questions…how we are to know…other than by looking at her record).
BTW, they might have to buy in bulk because the per capita incidents of sexual assualt in Alaska (like drug abuse and dranking) are off the charts.
The study, conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Justice Center, looked at 989 sexual assault cases reported to state troopers in 2003 and 2004. Researchers did not look at cases reported in the same period to municipal police departments, including those in Anchorage or other urban centers that account for 80% of Alaska’s 670,000 residents.
Overall, 46% of the cases were referred for prosecution. Of those 452 cases, about half resulted in convictions.
The study is believed to represent only a fraction of abuse actually committed in trooper jurisdiction. Still, Alaska has had the nation’s highest per capita occurrence since 1995. According to statewide figures for 2003 and 2004 alone, there were 89 rapes per 100,000 people, almost three times the national average of 32 per 100,000, said Andre Rosay, the Justice Center’s interim director.
“There are a lot of excellent programs here, so it could be reporting rates are higher here. We don’t know, though,” he said. “But even if there are higher reporting rates, our rates far surpass those in the lower 48.
If Palin ever allows those blood-sucking vultures in the press to ask her questions, can someone put this one on the list?