Not Enough $

05.15.143:01 PM ET

Victim Against Victim

Most states are using money from victim support services to pay for the rape kits. At what cost?

Talk about a devil’s bargain. Since 2005, the feds have reasonably required that states cover the cost of sexual aassault kits (rather than making victims pay out of pocket) in order to qualify for federal funds to fight violence against women. In order to pay for the kits, however, most states are using money they’d otherwise use for victim support services. As a result, victims’ funds are coming up short on money to pay for other crime victims’ services, like reimbursement for lost wages, medical and mental health care, and funeral costs. Vox points out that the federal government is supposed to reimburse states for 60 percent of what victim funds spend on theseservices, but over the past few years it's dwindled to 20 percent. Granted, money is tight all around, especially since the federal requirement went into effect as states faced budget crises. But are crime victims really the ones who should pay?