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Bill aims to ensure sexual assault victims are informed of their rights

January 11, 2019

A Lincoln senator is trying to ensure sexual assault victims know about their existing rights and the help available to them.

State Sen. Kate Bolz introduced Legislative Bill 43, the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights Act, on Thursday. It replaces a similar bill she introduced last year that did not gain traction.

The bill would ensure that sexual assault victims receive “accurate and timely information they need to navigate the medical and criminal justice systems,” Bolz said. The bill also would inform medical and criminal justice professionals of victims’ rights.

Unlike last year’s bill, the legislation would not require that sexual assault kits be tested during a defined time frame. Bolz said the change would eliminate the costs, making the bill easier to get passed during a budget shortfall.

[Read More: Three quarters of sexual assault kits in Omaha Police evidence are untested. New grant will change that]

Bolz outlined the rights of sexual assault victims in a press release:

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; andThe right to apply for compensation.

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