University of Virginia Scholar Testing Rape Kit Dyes That Will Work on All Skin Colors

Kathryn_Laughon_0Kathryn Laughon, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia, is conducting research to develop a new dye for rape kits that will be useful for women with all skin pigments.

When a health care professional treats a victim of rape, she often places a dye on the woman’s skin that illuminates all lacerations, abrasions, and tears. Researchers have found that the use of the dye documents two to three times the number of injuries compared to examinations conducted without the dye. But one problem with the commonly used dyes is that they are ineffective on darker skins.

forensic_dyeDr. Laughon’s research involves conducting tests on new fluorescent dyes that show up injuries on all skin colors. She is also conducting research using the dyes on women who have had consensual sex and is comparing the results to women who have been raped.

Dr. Laughon holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Virginia. She holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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