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France testing rape kits to determine if that will help convictions

Jan. 11, 2014 at 7:55 PM

PARIS, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- French officials plan to issue rape kits to hospital emergency rooms and doctors to determine if that will help prosecute and convict offenders.

The pilot program will begin in Paris and another region this spring, Radio France Internationale reported Saturday.

An estimated 75,000 sexual assaults are committed in France every year -- an average of one every 8 minutes. But only 10,000 are investigated by prosecutors, and convictions average about 1,400.

Women's Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the kits will include a test for the HIV virus, emergency contraception, cameras to photograph victims for evidence and a list of specialist doctors.

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