In 2015, when I was just 16 years old, I was raped by a man in his twenties. Because there is no place in my small hometown to be examined for a rape kit, I had to go to Birmingham to get one done.
After enduring an hours-long examination, I was sent to a child advocacy center to be interviewed because I was underage. But instead of helping me, they made me feel like a criminal. I had to tell my story three or four times, and I was repeatedly asked if I was sure I didn't consent. They suggested that I might be lying because I was 16 and too afraid to tell my parents that I had sex. They suggested that I might not remember things correctly because I was on drugs at the time I was raped.
I was 16. I was high. I did NOT give consent.
After I left the child advocacy center, I never heard from them or the police about the status of my case. When I tried calling them to find out what was happening, they told me that I was too young for them to give me that kind of information. I was never given a court date. All I have is my police report. And as far as I know, my rape kit was never tested and my rapist was never even questioned.
Sadly, the way my rape case was mishandled is not uncommon in Alabama. But I want to change that. Please sign this petition to demand that the Alabama State Legislature pass a law requiring law enforcement to test all rape kits and notify victims about the status of their case.