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The law to seek justice for survivors of sexual abuse still makes it very difficult to report. Below is a petition to support a bill before the House to alleviate some of the obstacles survivors face.  As a former psychotherapist, and a survivor myself, I’ve counseled others who have reported their abuse. On one hand, taking the step to report is the beginning of healing from a violation so vile that impacts the mind, body and soul. On the other hand, when obstacles block the support that a survivor desperately needs to go through this process, my clients have told me that “I feel like I am being raped all over again”!

Please read the below bill and add your name to this petition to support it:

Gayook, add your name: Tell the Senate Judiciary Committee to take immediate action to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

Last week Senate Democrats introduced a bill that could be a game changer for sexual assault survivors across the country. The federal Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act would provide more rights to survivors of rape and sexual assault, particularly as they seek justice through the criminal justice system.

Among the rights secured in this bill are no-cost forensic medical exams (or rape kits), preservation of evidence for the full statute of limitations, clear information about the results of the exam, and written notice prior to destroying rape kits.

A version of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act was introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives last spring. After the bill was referred to a House committee for consideration, nothing happened until Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced it in the Senate last week. This legislation is too important to languish in committee again.

Add your name: Demand the Senate Judiciary Committee take immediate action to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

The bill was written by Amanda Nguyen, a 24-year-old rape survivor who was frustrated by the obstacles and hurdles she’s faced in the two years since her attack. Despite a 15-year statute of limitations in her state, she is forced to track down her rape kit, which moves from facility to facility, and file an extension every 6 months so the evidence is not destroyed.

Nguyen says, “The system essentially makes me live my life by date of rape.”

Currently, survivors’ rights and guarantees vary widely from state to state. This legislation seeks to create standard procedures for survivors seeking justice through the legal system. The bill applies specifically to federal cases, but if enacted, is poised to become a model states can draw from in establishing standards of justice, as well as care and treatment, for survivors of sexual assault.

Stand with sexual assault survivors. Add your name to the petition now.

Keep fighting,
Irna Landrum, Daily Kos

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