Recently, the Center for Student Wellness at the University of Utah became aware of self-administered rape kits (“Me Too Kits”) that are being marketed to campuses and college students across the nation. As an office of victim-survivor advocates, prevention specialists and educators that focus on preventing and responding to sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence, we do not endorse or support these kits.
These kits are concerning both ethically and in their high potential for harm within a Title IX and/or criminal justice process. While we agree with the premise that survivors should be empowered with options and choices as they navigate their own path of healing and justice, we are concerned that these kits are misleading and exploitive in their efforts to offer survivors a different option to gain control after a traumatizing experience such as sexual assault.
We strongly urge all survivors of sexual assault to seek professional trauma-informed medical care. In these situations, survivors are asked for consent to initiate the exam; care providers maintain legal chain of custody and police follow chain of evidence protocols before submitting to the state crime laboratory. These new kits do not guarantee this process. Preventative medications for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections will also be provided for free.
The Center for Student Wellness is dedicated to supporting campus community members who have experienced interpersonal violence and will continue to support a survivor’s choice for healing. However, we strongly urge campus community members to be informed of the potential risk of using a Me Too Kit.
Rape Recovery Center’s 24-hour crisis line:
Domestic Violence Link Line: