LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A victim of sexual assault shared her story after getting billed nearly $600 from her emergency room visit.
She didn't think she should have to pay and as THV11 found out, she likely won’t have to.
"I just met these people, these guys and basically it was consensual until it wasn't consensual anymore," said the victim who wants to remain anonymous.
Less than a day after her sexual assault, she went to Baptist Health for a rape kit exam.
“I got a shot and then they gave me Plan B and some antibiotics and sent me home," said the victim.
A week later, she received two bills in the mail.
“It’s like $500, almost $600," said the victim. “I shouldn’t have to pay for something that you have to do in order to prosecute the person that did something to you."
THV11 found out she likely won’t have to thanks to the Attorney Generals Crime Victims Reparations Program which includes a sexual assault reimbursement program allowing evidence to be collected after a sexual assault has been committed without the victim bearing the burden of the expense. The victim must seek treatment within 72 hours.
“It’s not like I wanted to go and have a rape kit done cause it is very intrusive especially after what happened," said the victim.
The spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office told us a victim who only receives a rape kit test and forensic collection shouldn’t get billed. That's if no other treatments were performed. The hospital is expected to fill out a form and attach the bill, sending it to the Crime Victims Reparations Program.
In this case, Baptist Health said all patients who receive services in their emergency department trigger charges such as an initial assessment from a physician. They added that they sent a billing statement to understand her financial situation, but do have full-time patient assistance to either help those who qualify for Medicaid or help them get reimbursements through the Crime Victims Reparations Program.
“One, I hope I’m not going to have to pay all that money and two that the whole process is over," said the victim.
A Baptist Health spokesperson told THV11 other hospitals should have programs like theirs to help victims through this process to receive their reimbursement so they don’t have to pay. A request must be submitted within one year of the assault.