Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Awaits Action from Governor
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California State Legislature voted unanimously to adopt a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. Assembly Bill 1312, joint authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.
“California is well on its way to making a longstanding commitment to survivors that we support them and that we will protect their rights first and foremost,” said Berman. “Our criminal justice system cannot continue to be so difficult and painful to navigate that survivors choose not to report their assault or do not receive the treatment and services they need.”
Among other things, AB 1312 establishes minimum preservation standards for rape kits, strengthens requirements of law enforcement and medical providers to notify victims of their rights, and codifies new rights such as the right to contraception at no cost to the victim and the right to shower or bathe at a medical facility after a forensic examination.
If signed, California will become the ninth state to enact a statutory bill of rights for sexual assault survivors, following Idaho, Maryland, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia as well as a federal bill of rights signed by President Obama in 2016. AB 1312 is sponsored by Rise, the organization responsible for successfully crafting and advocating for sexual assault survivors’ bills of rights around the country.
“Our first course of action as an organization was to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights on the federal level so we could provide a model that other states could adopt. Our theory of change is that hope is contagious – and we have already seen so many states commit to joining this movement and introduce their own Survivors’ Bill of Rights,” said Nguyen, the founder of Rise, sexual assault survivor, and California native. “For rape survivors like myself, these civil rights in California mean the difference between justice or lost justice. California survivors must have equal rights under the law. With the support from state legislators, we can help pass new laws that will end these injustices and protect the 2 million rape survivors in California.”
AB 1312 is co-authored byAssemblymembers Caballero, E. Garcia, C. Garcia, and Low and Senators Atkins and Skinner. It received unanimous, bipartisan support in both houses of the California State Legislature. Governor Brown has until October 15, 2017 to sign the measure.
Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 710-4060