Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas, NM Coalition of Sexual Assult Programs Warn About ‘At-Home Rape Kit’ Companies, Issues Risk Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 13, 2019
Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-7148

Albuquerque, NM–Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas and the New Mexico Coalition of
Sexual Assault Programs issued the following statements and risk advisory to all New Mexicans
in response to increased reporting about the rise of so called “DIY rape kits,” which are set to be
sold commercially by MeToo Kits Company, based in New York City, and the New Jerseybased The Preserve Group. Attorney General Balderas issued the advisory because of the
extremely dangerous suggestion by any commercial entity that survivors of sexual assault should
personally administer evidence-collection kits as a substitute for a professional forensic exam.
“Understanding that survivors of sexual assault experience tremendous amounts of trauma after
their assault, a self-administered sexual assault kit is absolutely the wrong approach to
investigating and prosecuting a terrible act of violence,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I stand
with survivors and my Attorney General colleagues across the country in calling for these
companies to immediately cease the marketing of this terrible idea. Survivors should know that
law enforcement officials will stand with them, and that professional forensic examinations are
the safest and most necessary means of holding their abusers accountable.”
Kim Alaburda, the Executive Director of the Coalition expressed dismay about the product as
well: “In addition to the myriad legal issues with these products, a do-it-yourself evidence kit
bypasses an entire repose system geared to provide healing resources, such as advocates to
provide information and support, no-cost counseling services, and victim compensation
resources to defray costs of crime victimization.”
In response to the rise of these products, Attorney General Balderas warns New Mexicans of
their danger and recommends the following:
 First and foremost, survivors should know that members of the law enforcement,
medical, and service provider communities are on hand 24/7 to ensure their safety in the
event of sexual trauma;
 These kits are no substitute for the medical care or services that may be necessary
following an incident of sexual violence, in addition to a SANE exam;
 It is extremely unlikely that a self-administered sexual assault kit will be admisable as
evidence in a criminal prosection of a sexual abuser.
The Attorney General encourages survivors of sexual violence to immediately seek help. Law
enforcement agencies stand ready to assist, and there are numerous resources that can be located
in every corner of the State through the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Progams
here: http://nmcsap.org/find-help/sexual-assault-service-providers-sasp2/

Raul Torrez

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