WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation outlining a federal bill of rights for survivors of sexual assault, following a national outcry over the sexual assault of an unconscious woman by a former Stanford University swimmer.
The House bill would ensure that survivors in federal criminal cases have a right to a sexual assault evidence collection kit, to be told of the results and to be notified in writing before the kit is destroyed. Lawmakers said they are troubled by the number of untested rape kits that remain in the country, despite efforts to reduce a national backlog.
Republican Rep. Mimi Walters of California said the federal bill should serve as a model for states.
The bill heads to the Senate, where similar legislation was approved this spring.