America's justice system is broken in the way it treats rape survivors. Survivors’ rights vary from state to state, but no state has enacted comprehensive rights protections for survivors. This creates patchwork system that works against the people it is supposed to support.
I know firsthand how the justice system treats rape survivors, but I also know that my story is not unique. The CDC estimates there are 25 million sexual assault survivors in the United States. Over forty states have backlogs in untested kits. Some states do not cover the full medical expenses of a kit, leaving survivors to pay their own way towards justice. A handful of states don’t even notify the survivor when they permanently destroy a rape kit.
That is why I founded Rise in November 2014 – to push for comprehensive rights for survivors in every state and at the federal level. We have come together as survivors and advocates to fight for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for survivors, including:
• The right to be notified of your rights in clear language
• The right to know your own medical information from your own rape kit
• The right not to have to pay for your own rape kit
• The right to a copy of your own police report
We have accomplished a lot in 17 months, including a bill currently pending in several states and the United States Senate. Since the federal introduction, 7 states have asked us to bring these rights to survivors in their states. Our Change.org petition currently has over 90,000 supporters. A movement is building, and we need to seize this momentum to make America more fair for all survivors -- so that justice does not depend on geography.
Rise is entirely composed of volunteers who donate their time but we need resources to bring comprehensive civil rights to survivors across 50 states. We have a plan: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Rise is sending survivors across the country to meet with key government officials, members of the press, and tech executives.
In order for us to enact change, we need these leaders to hear our stories. This will be our “#RiseUp Day of Action.”
Our nation’s decision makers need to hear why these civil rights matter and to get these voices to them, we need your help.
Your support is critical to making the movement happen, and if we can attain our reach goal, Day of Action, you can help fund this movement through the summer. We are asking for $20,000 as our target amount to directly fund our Day of Action. Your donation goes directly to our work, such as traveling to testify at state and federal committee meetings, enabling survivors to travel to meet with key decision makers at the state and federal level, and empowering local advocates to spread our message of hope and progress in their communities.
Thank you for rising with us.