While the idea of offering victims of assault an at-home rape kit they can use in the privacy of their own home seems good in theory, in practice, it’s actually not that simple. A Brooklyn startup, founded by two twenty-somethings developing an at-home rape kit called the “MeToo Kit,” has caused a lot of controversy over the past few days when news of their still-in-development product came under fire by the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Nessel sent the company a cease-and-desist letter, on August 29th, alleging that the company violates consumer protection rights in Michigan. According to Nessel:
Basically, the fear is that the kit, would give victims the wrong idea that any DNA samples they collect during use would hold up in court, when really, instead of justice, all you’d get is dragged around by a dbag defense attorney because you did an at-home kit instead of going to a hospital and having a professional examine you.
For what it’s worth though, this is all kind of a moot point, since the MeToo Kit doesn’t even exist yet. In a phone call to Cosmopolitan, Madison Campbell, the founder of the MeToo Kit who’s been doing most of the media relations, said that prior to all the drama that went down, they had been hoping for a rollout in spring 2020.
As for the name, Campbell says her product is not officially associated with the #MeToo movement. She was inspired to name it after the Tarana Burke-founded movement because it “immediately identifies what the kit is there to support: survivors of sexual assault who have been silent.” Campbell said she would be open to changing the name if it interferes with her goal of helping survivors.
Campbell also told me that she’s faced death threats and other harassment (including an office break-in) since the media attention.
So, to recap:
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