Know Your Rights
Senator Joe Biden sponsored the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 1991. This was an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965 relating to treatment by campus officials of sexual assault victims. It was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. This bill states that:
- Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present.
- Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
- Survivors shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement.
- Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.
- Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.
Representative Mimi Walters sponsored the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act of 2016, which amended the federal criminal code to establish statutory rights for survivors of sexual assault and rape. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama. This bill includes states that:
- Survivors cannot be prevented from receiving a forensic medical examination and cannot be charged for an examination.
- A sexual assault evidence collection kit (a rape kit) must be preserved for 20 years or the maximum applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter.
- Survivors must receive written notification prior to destruction or disposal of a rape kit.
- Survivors must be informed of these rights and policies.
There is also the Canadian Victims’ Bill of Rights which states that victims have a:
- Right to information
- Right to participation
- Right to seek restitution
- Right to protection