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U.S. House of Representatives Passes Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights in Unanimous Vote

image via Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock

image via Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock

It seems as though the Brock Turner case was the thing that finally forced the US Federal government to look more closely at the problem of sexual assault, particularly as it affects college campuses. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted unanimously for legislation to be included in a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.

According to Motto, while the legislation deals with other rights, it’s primarily concerned with guaranteed access to completed rape kits in federal criminal cases. Sexual assault survivors will, under this law if it passes, “have a right to a sexual assault evidence collection kit, to be told of the results and to be notified in writing before the kit is destroyed.” This is important, considering the enormous backlog on processing rape kits nationwide.

The hope with this bill is that it will provide a more stable model for how to handle sexual assault cases on the state level, as the “patchwork” of laws from state-to-state is uneven, and often prevents survivors from seeking justice.

The bill is now off to the Senate for a vote there. Here’s hoping it passes, and that it is merely the beginning of a complete overhaul in the way we deal with sexual assault and how we treat its survivors.

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.