CONSUMER ALERT: OAG Cautions Use of At-Home Sexual Assault Evidence Kits
Attorney General Racine recommends District residents NOT use new at-home forensic testing kits that claim to help sexual assault survivors collect evidence of an assault themselves. These new consumer products—branded as "MeToo Kits” and “Preserve Kits”—may thwart law enforcement’s ability to hold perpetrators accountable and get justice for survivors because the evidence might not be admissible in court.
Collecting evidence—including DNA samples—is critical to holding perpetrators of these heinous crimes accountable and should only be administered by trained medical staff. These kits could make survivors think they have properly collected evidence only to find out later it is not accepted by the court and the opportunity to properly collect the evidence has passed.
These at-home kits could also deter sexual assault survivors from seeking proper medical care. Forensic exams by trained medical staff not only properly collect evidence, but healthcare workers can also treat physical injuries and make referrals for medicine that could prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. These forensic exams are offered at no cost to the public.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, we recommend that you:
- Do not use an at-home sexual assault evidence kit.
- Talk to a medical professional, lawyer, or law enforcement as soon as possible about the best options for you.
Survivors of sexual assault can also find support and resources by calling the DC Victim Hotline at 1-844-4HELPDC (844-443-5732).