Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer. Issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence have rightly occupied the national spotlight for an extended period of time. While much of the attention is focused on the perpetrators, it is just as important for individuals who have suffered a sexual assault to understand their rights. This is what a recent bill passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee addresses.
A Bill has been Passed
Assembly Bill 1312, titled the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, recently was unanimously passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee. This important bill was authored by Democratic assembly member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, of San Diego. Assemblywoman Fletcher stated that the state of California needs to improve its aid to sexual abuse victims and victims of sexual assault because they often get lost in the shuffle of looking for the perpetrator and collecting evidence. In reality, many who have suffered sexual abuse or sexual assault simply do not know what they’re supposed to do. There are legal issues, medical tests, and personal problems that need to be addressed when it comes to something as serious as sexual assault. At the top of the list is informing the victim of their rights, particularly if the person is elderly and has been a victim of nursing home abuse.
What Does the Bill Do?
Sexual assault can take many forms, including therapist sexual assault. People who have watched TV shows and crime dramas have undoubtedly seen Miranda Rights read to people who are arrested; however, nobody informs the victims of their rights. Without this knowledge, victims of sexual assault will not know what to do next. This bill requires hospital personnel and law enforcement personnel to provide certain information to victims of sexual assault. This information will outline the rights of the victim prior to an official interview or medical exam. Furthermore, the bill will require all police departments to keep their rape kits in proper storage for at least two decades.
In an interview, assembly member Fletcher also discussed several new rights for victims of sexual assault that will help them find justice. For example, victims of sexual assault often have trouble finding emergency contraceptive measures. This bill will also make it easier for women who are victims of sexual assault to have access to emergency contraception and medical care to handle other comorbidities. The bill also requires that proper personnel give victims of sexual assault a card that outlines the rights of the victim.
Information published by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault published heartbreaking information regarding sexual assault in California. Each year, approximately 2 million women survive rape in California. An additional 5.6 million women in California are victims of other forms of sexual assault annually. Out of all of these victims, almost three quarters of rapes and sexual assault go unreported, possibly because they may have been elderly victims of residential care sexual assault. The hope is that with the passage of this new bill, more women will understand their rights and seek justice.
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Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyer. It is vital for every person who has survived a sexual assault to understand their rights under the law. If you, or a loved one has suffered sexual assault, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. My toll-free number is also available at (800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are a group of attorneys that make up many of the top-rated trial lawyers in the United States. Each member of our group has won $1 Million and multiple million-dollar verdicts for past clients.
A record of some of my past settlements and verdicts are available here.
Image Attribution: [Patient with Doctor] – Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, Sacramento Sexual Assault Lawyers