Governor Brown Signs Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Brown signed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, joint authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto).

“I am proud to be a joint author of AB 1312, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights,” said Assemblymember Berman. “By enacting this critical legislation, our state has made a commitment to support and protect survivors first and foremost.”​

AB 1312 establishes and expands preservation standards for rape kits, strengthen requirements of law enforcement and medical providers to notify victims of their rights, and codify new guarantees such as the right to emergency contraception and a shower after a forensic exam.

Rise successfully crafted and advocated for the federal Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights signed by President Obama in 2016. Since then, Idaho, Maryland, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, and now California, have enacted their own bill of rights.

“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 Amanda 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.”

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, an additional 5.6 million women and three million men have been victims of sexual violence other than rape in California.  

"I navigated a broken system after my assault. I'm in this fight because this is the only form of justice from our system that I will ever see. AB 1312 becoming law isn't just a legislative victory; this is a personal victory for every survivor in California," said Jennifer Li, the California State Director for Rise. "To all the current and future survivors: this bill was written for us, by us. With the support from amazing state legislators like Assemblymembers Berman and Gonzalez-Fletcher, we can pass new laws that protect us and allow us a better shot at justice.The signing of this bill restored my faith in our legislative process, and in our democracy. We have a voice. We can change the system. To all the current and future survivors: you are not alone. We did this for you. We did this so you wouldn't have to navigate the system alone. We are always with you, we will always fight for you, and now, the State of California is with you too."

AB 1312 was co-authored by Assemblymembers Caballero, E. Garcia, C. Garcia, and Low and Senators Atkins and Skinner. It received unanimous support in both houses of the California State Legislature.

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024