Bills would better protect sexual assault victims
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There is a bipartisan push in Albany to expand the rights of sexual assault survivors.
Senate Heath Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Long Island) was joined by Assembly Democrats Aravella Simotas (Queens) and Dick Gottfried (Manhattan) in the Capitol where they announced legislation that would create a Survivor's Bill of Rights, maintain unreported rape kits for 20 years, create a rape kit tracking system, and ensure that a victim is never billed for the exam.
The most powerful story told during the press conference came from writer Abby Haglage who was assaulted in New York City. She described the mental turmoil she went through after the incident in going through the exam. She wasn't ready to press charges until two years later, but by then her kit had been destroyed.
Hannon said the goal is to eventually have one central storage area for all kits where they can be kept until the time limit expires. Gottfried and Simotas expressed optimism that the legislation could pass their chamber.