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‘Me Too’ at-home rape kit draws criticism: ‘There is absolutely no benefit here for victims’

Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.


However, critics argue the kit is highly problematic, as evidence collected is unlikely to hold up in court.

"We do not advise anyone to use an at-home rape kit as a viable alternative to a forensic exam. We also do not advise that any college or university encourage students to use this product or make it available for use," the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence said in a statement. "Me Too Kit has provided no information to explain how these kits will be admissible in court and how the proper chain of custody will be followed."

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The kit is even banned from being sold in the state of Michigan, where Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the Brooklyn-based company a cease and desist for violating Michigan's Consumer Protection Act. "This company is shamelessly trying to take financial advantage of the 'Me Too' movement by luring victims into thinking that an at-home-do-it-yourself sexual assault kit will stand up in court," Nessel said in a release. "There is absolutely no benefit here for victims."

Campbell argues that the kit makes the process easier for survivors. According to RAINN, only 23 percent of rapes are reported to the police. Some people fear losing their anonymity. For others, the forensic test can be traumatizing, and Campbell believes having the option to do a rape kit at home helps to eliminate some of these issues. But while her intentions might be good, critics argue the kit will be of no help to anyone. "We are advocates for all options for survivors," Morgan Dewey, communications director for the group End Rape on Campus, told Vox. That is, provided those options aren't harmful, which she says isn't the case with the at-home kits. "This is in fact harmful."

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Campbell, who didn't report her own sexual assault to the authorities, says she drew on her experience in creating the Me Too kits. "I know how terrifying and traumatic being sexually assaulted is," she told the Brooklyn Eagle. "And I didn't even want to touch myself after it happened, or go to anyone, or tell anyone about this. All I wanted to do was give survivors time to process their trauma."

Campbells company is only two months old, and she says she's open to listening to her critics. While the Me Too kit likely isn't the answer, it brought light to the fact that there's a lot we need to work out when it comes to dealing with sexual assault.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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