Cuomo signs law creating ‘bill of rights’ for sexual assault survivors

New York Daily News

December 21, 2018

By Kenneth Lovett

Sexual assault victims have a new “bill of rights” in New York that will spell out the services they are entitled to after an attack.

Gov. Cuomo, who signed the measure into law on Friday, said letting survivors know their legal rights will help ensure they request and receive the information needed to navigate both the medical and criminal justice systems.

Under the law, victims will be alerted that they can consult with a rape-crisis or victim assistance organization, are entitled to health care services at no cost, and receive updates on the status of their rape kits and cases.

Law enforcement agencies, under the law, will be required to come up with policies to ensure they effectively communicate those rights to survivors.

“As the federal government shamefully ignores the voices of sexual assault survivors, New York is doing everything in our power to empower survivors and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will support our work to combat the scourge of sexual harassment and assault, help deliver justice to survivors and make New York a safer state for all.”

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Queens) and Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-L.I.).

Selena Bennett-Chambers, of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, praised the new law, noting that the state Attorney General’s Office recently found that seven New York hospitals had been illegally billing rape victims for their forensic exams.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.