New law aims to expand care for sex assault victims, including access to rape kits – What We Know!

A virtually decade-long battle for higher entry to look after rape victims is now regulation. On Tuesday, President Biden signed the Violence Towards Girls Act, which incorporates provisions of a bipartisan invoice to develop entry to look after victims of sexual assault.

Washington Senator Patty Murray drafted the laws after listening to the story of constituent Leah Griffin, of Seattle, who stated she was unable to obtain a rape examination at her neighborhood hospital in 2014.

“I went to the closest emergency room. I informed them what occurred,” Griffin stated. “They shrugged their shoulders and stated, ‘We don’t do rape kits right here.’ Hours later, I used to be in a position to get a rape package at a special hospital throughout the town. However the delay in care brought about a catastrophic collection of failures in my case, and I by no means obtained justice.”

Nevertheless, now she’s obtained justice of a special sort — by new laws aimed toward creating nationwide requirements of look after victims of sexual assault. The Violence Towards Girls Act additionally consists of provisions to raised research the issue and create a federal grant program to incentivize hospitals to coach specialised nurses, often called sexual assault nurse examiners.

“My purpose is that each hospital on this nation, city, rural, wherever, could have somebody who’s educated as a ‘SANE’ nurse to have the ability to assist a sufferer of sexual assault, be capable of course of the proof that they want,” Murray informed CBS Information.

A Authorities Accountability Workplace report in 2016, requested by Murray, found a extreme ignorance surrounding the difficulty, in addition to a scarcity of assets.

“I used to be surprised at what number of hospitals and well being care suppliers didn’t have somebody educated to have the ability to do that work,” Murray stated. “Since I’ve been engaged on this, I’ve had so many individuals come as much as me on the road and say, ‘I simply had this occur to me.’”

Murray’s co-sponsor, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, says in rural components of her state, intercourse assault victims should take a aircraft trip to obtain the mandatory care.

The newly handed laws goals to determine the place gaps within the system stay, with the final word purpose of constructing positive what occurred to Griffin doesn’t occur to anybody else.

“We don’t even know the way huge this downside is,” Griffin stated.

She hopes the invoice will permit the federal government to raised perceive the place the wants stay and goal grant funding to the communities that want it most.

“To lastly see it throughout the end line is the accomplishment of a lifetime,” she stated.