Pass a Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights in California
California is close to passing a Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights that will guarantee comprehensive, common sense civil rights for survivors like me.
In March of 2015, I was sexually assaulted by a man I was dating. We had not been seeing each other for very long, and we were not exclusive. I asked him, like usual, to wear protection, but on this night he did not have any. When I tried to stop his unprotected advances, he forced himself on me.
In the coming days and weeks as I tried to wrap my head around my trauma, I thought about contacting the authorities. Although I wanted to enlist the prosecutorial support of the justice system, I found myself countering that desire with thoughts of how few basic protections exist for someone like me. I was deeply aware that my case would present itself as “she-said-he-said”, and I couldn’t imagine pursuing a long road of interrogation and accusation.
I'm now part of an organization called Rise, who worked to pass the first ever Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights at the federal level last year. We were successful but now states like California must enact these protections.
Our legislation, AB1312 has already passed its first committee 6-0! Here's what it would accomplish if passed:
1. The right to not have your rape kit destroyed before either 20 years or the statute of limitations has passed (whichever is longer).
2. The right to be notified of your civil rights related to a sexual assault.
3. The right to not be charged for your own rape kit examination.
4. The right to access your own medical record related to a rape kit examination.
5. The right to a copy of your own police report.
Over forty states have backlogs for untested kits. Some states do not cover the full medical expenses of a kit, leaving survivors to pay their own way towards justice. Most states destroy rape kits before the statute of limitations for the crime has passed. The lack of these rights has inspired us to act.
If you live in California, please sign this petition, This is a crisis for 25 million survivors across America, and it's time for our legislators to do something about it.
Please support the creation of a Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights in California by passing AB1312.
Flannery Houston started this petition with a single signature, and now has 5,149 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.