(Content Warning: As you can see from the title, this is about the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights. This of course means general discussion of sexual assault and rape.)
Those are three words I’m not sure I’ve heard in a really long time. Especially attached to something so good.
Sexual-assault survivors will soon have a federal bill of rights if Barack Obama signs a piece of legislation that has already passed through both chambers of Congress. The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill on Tuesday requiring that victims be informed of their rights and the progress of their medical forensic examinations, commonly called rape kits, in federal cases of sexual assault.
The Senate’s version of the bill also passed unanimously in May. Once a small discrepancy is resolved in conference, the legislation will go to the president.
If Obama gives it his signature, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights will ensure that victims are offered a medical forensic examination for free (many are still charged for the procedure); that they are informed of its results; that the evidence gathered is kept for 20 years or the duration of the statute of limitations, whichever comes first; that survivors may request to be notified 60 days before the rape kit is destroyed; and that they may request to preserve the evidence for a longer period of time. The bill also establishes a working group to evaluate the efficacy of its provisions and report back in two years.