Alleged rape victim plays waiting game

June 24, 2009 3:36:56 PM PDT
A woman who claims she was raped said her traumatic experience was multiplied by an emotionally exhausting wait at a local hospital that took hours and hours. Tuesday turned out to be a very long day and night for a woman who says she was sexually assaulted. She said her experience trying to get help at Ben Taub Hospital made her trauma even worse.

The nightmare began for this 24-year-old League City woman Tuesday before noon when she said was raped by an acquaintance.

"I went to the police station about 6pm or 7pm and they told us to come up here to Ben Taub," said the victim.

Ben Taub is one of only three hospitals in the area that performs rape kits, according to the Houston Police Department.

The woman and her mom arrived around 9pm. However, they said they waited until 3am to be put in a room, until after 7am to be seen by the nurse who did the rape kit, and until 11am Wednesday to be discharged. The wait wasn't the worst of it, said the victim's mom.

"I'm very concerned about the evidence because everything degrades with time, but I'm also concerned with how they treated her. She was already a victim," said the victim's mother.

The victim added, "I told them what I needed. I needed a rape kit done, nobody was even cordial about anything."

A spokesperson for the Harris County Hospital District emailed us a response stating, "We express our sincere apology to this patient regarding her care in our emergency center. It does not reflect the high standards we expect from our staff."

In the meantime, the victim's mother just wants Ben Taub to re-evaluate how rape victims are treated even on busy nights.

"Even though there was a policeman terribly wounded and killed and taken away from his family, there were other people who needed their services as well," said the victim's mother.

The Harris County Hospital District told us they are looking into the woman's claims.

The victim told us she is going to press charges against her attacker and Houston police said an investigation is underway.

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