BOULDER, Colo. - For the past 10 years, victims of sexual assault in Boulder County needed to drive nearly an hour to receive a forensic examination, called a rape kit, after an attack. But in early 2015, a new "Sex Assault Nurse Examination" program will provide treatment much closer to home.
Advocates partnered with CU Boulder and Boulder County to create the program, which will give rape survivors access to medical treatment and rape kits. The evidence collected in a rape kit is often the key to solving sexual assault cases.
"To have the healing and the accessibility of medical support in our community is going to remove a barrier that so many survivors have found," Lora Atkinson, executive director of Moving to End Sexual Assault, said. "They have not been able to get medical support or even pursue the legal aspects because it's so overwhelming when they're in trauma to have to drive 40 minutes each way to get care."
In the past, when a rape kit was collected, police often chose to not test the evidence for DNA. A 2012 CALL7 Investigation found police across Colorado failed to test thousands of rape kits. But a Colorado law, prompted by our investigation, now requires virtually every rape kit be tested.