With the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, Congress specifically addressed the problem of sexual assault victims being charged with forensic exam costs. Requiring states, Indian tribal governments, and local governmental agencies to assume responsibility for the 'full out-of-pocket cost of forensic [sexual assault] medical exams' in order to qualify for the S.T.O.P. (Services Training Officers Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program provided incentives for states to find alternative ways to cover the costs of sexual assault evidentiary exams."
Today, in order to receive the available federal funding, most states have enacted laws specifically providing for a designated payment source to cover the costs of forensic exams.
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