Albany, N.Y., February 13—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today joined a bipartisan group of Senate and Assembly colleagues to call for the approval of legislation O’Mara co-sponsors to expand the rights of sexual assault survivors.
“This package of legislation builds on laws we have enacted in recent years to strengthen the rights of sexual assault survivors and to take additional steps to ensure that survivors have access to the counseling, treatment, and other protections they need,” said O’Mara.
O’Mara and other supporters of the legislation were joined by advocates to discuss the importance of the measures, which will ensure all sexual assault survivors are afforded a greater opportunity to seek justice.
The legislation O’Mara co-sponsors -- S6428A, S6947A, and S6964A – focus on creating a Survivor’s Bill of Rights, maintaining unreported rape kits for 20 years, creating a rape kit tracking system, establishing a sexual assault forensic examination (S.A.F.E.) telemedicine pilot program and ensuring victims are never billed for exams.
Amanda Nguyen, CEO and Founder of the advocacy organization RISE, said, “Currently in New York State, rape kits can be destroyed after 30 days. The DNA evidence in a rape kit is both crucial for survivors seeking justice and exonerating the innocent. We are hopeful the state of New York will pass this legation to meet the federal standard - ensuring rape kits will be preserved for 20 years for the 6.6 million survivors in New York.”