Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Passed First Hurdle in the California Legislature

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – AB 1312, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, a measure joint authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly Public Safety Committee this morning on a 7-0 vote.

“It should never be the case where the pain of the initial sexual assault is matched by the ordeal survivors go through navigating the criminal justice process,” Assemblymember Berman said. “I believe our state needs to make a longstanding commitment that, during one of the most difficult times in a survivor’s life, the criminal justice system will protect their rights first and foremost.”

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.

AB 1312 follows bipartisan legislation unanimously supported and signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The Federal Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights was courageously crafted and advocated for by Amanda Nguyen, a California native, sexual assault survivor, and founder of Rise, an organization dedicated to enacting victims’ bill of rights in statehouses throughout the country. Nguyen and her team at Rise were instrumental in crafting AB 1312.

“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. “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.”

Today, California moved a step closer to ensuring justice is served for sexual assault survivors. AB 1312 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Assemblymember Marc Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Website of Assemblymember Marc Berman: www.assembly.ca.gov/Berman

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry (916) 319-2024