The New York Times: The Rape Kit’s Secret History. “This is the story of the woman who forced the police to start treating sexual assault like a crime.” By Pagan Kennedy.
“How could a tool as potentially powerful as the rape kit have come into existence in the first place? For nearly two decades, I’d been reporting on inventors, breakthroughs and the ways that new technologies can bring about social change. It seemed to me that the rape-kit system was an invention like no other. Can you think of any other technology designed to hold men accountable for brutalizing women?
As soon as I began to investigate the rape kit’s origins, however, I stumbled across a mystery. Most sources credited a Chicago police sergeant, Louis Vitullo, with developing the kit in the 1970s. But a few described the invention as a collaboration between Mr. Vitullo and an activist, Martha Goddard. Where was the truth? As so often happens in stories about rape, I found myself wondering whom to believe.
The rape-kit idea was presented to the public as a collaboration between the state attorney’s office and the police department, with men running both sides… and little credit given to the women who had pushed for reform. Ms. Goddard agreed to this […] because she saw that it was the only way to make the rape kit happen.”