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Senator Bolz Introduces Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights
January 9, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) — In her first action of the 2019 session, Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation today to create a Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights meant to ensure survivors of sexual assault in Nebraska receive the necessary supports available to them during medical and law enforcement interactions.
“Survivors of sexual assault have existing rights within our legal system and deserve to have information about these rights presented to them in a clear manner,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “This bill will provide survivors with important information about the formal and informal supports available to them in the medical system and about the options available to them in the criminal justice system.”
Senator Bolz first announced her intention to bring this bill forward in October 2018 after hearing from those affected by sexual assault throughout the interim, “This was inspired by constituents who reached out to me about the need to update existing laws concerning sexual assault. We must make sure we are effective in providing assistance and answers to those seeking help.”
The legislation was developed with the assistance and support of the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The legislation requires that survivors be notified of their existing rights under current law when contacting law enforcement or medical personnel. The rights of survivors of sexual assault include:
The right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect;
The right to consult with a sexual assault counselor or victims advocate;
The right to be informed;
The right to be heard and participate in the criminal justice process;
The right to timely disposition of the case;
The right to notice about the status of the case; and
The right to apply for compensation.
Each day hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted and every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights will give survivors consistent guidelines and information during an uncertain and traumatic time.
Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln Represents District 29 in the Nebraska Legislature