Keep It Sacred Sister (KISS) is a non-profit organization providing post rape-exam panties to survivors receiving care at hospitals and clinics.
There are approximately 400,000 reported rapes each year in the United States, still this only represents 20% of assault cases because 80% of survivors do not come forward for help. There are many reasons for this, but what we do know, is that we want to be there for the precious percentage of women brave enough to step forward and say something. We're on a to mission to clothe every survivor with a post rape-exam panty so she can go home with dignity knowing we believe her and her sisters stand by her.
Understanding the Problem
The most critical moment of need for a survivor is immediately after her assault. She is vulnerable, confused about what to think, and often unsure about what actually was done to her. Rape is confusing because a large percentage of rapes happen between two people who know each other. It's rarely the case that an unknown culprit in the proverbial dark alley attacks a woman.
In order to come forward for help, the survivor has to first come to the conclusion that something was done to her. Coming to this realization takes strength and courage since assaults often happen between acquaintances or even trusted friends. This is what makes it so tricky for the victim to understand whether or not she was assaulted, why she's often unsure of her story, and why all women & survivor advocacy groups encourage her to 'believe' her feelings and 'trust her body.'
If she decides she was in fact assaulted, then she makes the decision of how she wants to handle the situation -- Does she confront her abuser on her own? Does she come forward for help? And what happens if she comes forward?
What is a rape exam?
A rape exam is a forensic examination conducted by a specialized nurse who is trained to collect 'evidence' from the survivors clothing and body parts. The survivor finds her way to a rape exam in two ways -- 1, by calling the rape crisis hotline and 2, calling 9-1-1. Most hospitals and clinics have Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) in place to hold her hand through the process. The rape exam takes anywhere from 4-6 hours and includes an interrogation by the police who then takes all of her clothing and the examination specimens as evidence, including her panties, which is becomes her 'rape kit.'
Reporting & Medical Treatment
It's essential for rape survivors to receive medical attention after an assault because they may have been exposed to sexual diseases or may run the risk of becoming pregnant if no birth control was used. She may also have cuts and bruises or injuries that need medical treatment.
After the nurse collects the 'evidence' from her body for the survivor's 'rape kit', the survivor undergoes an interrogation with the police where she is asked to described the details of the assault. The interrogation can be traumatizing in that she has to describe every last detail of what was done to her. The rape in itself was already humiliating, but having to speak it aloud while she's still wearing the rape on her is embarrassing and grueling for a trauma survivor. This is why SARTs become a key part of her support system in this moment of pain. SART volunteers hold a survivors hand through the process and help her get dressed in donation clothes at the end of the exam.
Our KISS panty is part of a SART volunteer's number of items she gives the survivor after her rape examination. Our panties let survivors know they are loved and believed and received by a sisterhood of survivors who hav her back. For just $50 per you can help provide 10 post rape-exam panties to survivors being helped by SART teams. We can't do this without you, consider donating today!