11 sep. 2008

3. Palin's Wasilla charged rape victims for their sexual assault exams.



When Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the town's police department charged rape victims for their forensic testing.

In a May, 2000 article, the Frontiersman reported:

While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon stated:

"In the past we've charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

Let's be clear: charging a person who has the strength to come forward after being sexually assaulted for their own examination isn't just insensitive, it is monstrous. And for victims to hear the Chief of Police say that he thinks it's right to charge the victim is horrifying.
Now let's talk about Palin's executive responsibility on this issue. As a blogger on BitchPhD points out:

One can only assume that she supported Wasilla's policy of billing rape victims for their own rape kits... not only because Fannon was her appointee, but also because this was four years into her tenure as mayor and because, let's be honest: in a town of that size, the mayor doesn't get to plead ignorance of policies or public statements of her own chief of police.

[...]

Palin was willing to raise taxes to build a sports complex. Her police chief was unwilling to use public funds to investigate rapes.

This shit needs to be in the national news. And Palin and McCain need to answer some hard questions about it.