WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley today released the following statement after President Obama signed into law legislation securing new rights for survivors of sexual assault. The Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act was championed by Amanda Nguyen, a survivor and founder of RISE, which advocates on behalf of victims of sexual violence. Grassley worked with Nguyen to include the proposal in a package that he led through the Judiciary Committee earlier this year. The bill passed in the Senate last month following Grassley’s unanimous consent request.
“Since first meeting Amanda Nguyen and hearing her story, I’ve worked with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to help turn her Survivors’ Bill of Rights proposal into law. Amanda has worked hand in hand with both political parties on this bill to establish new rights for survivors of sexual violence. This is the way it should be, because regardless of political party, all members of Congress should be empowering survivors of sexual violence.
“Those who have endured heinous crimes of sexual violence should not face such an uphill battle in their pursuit of justice. I’m grateful for Amanda’s brave leadership on this difficult issue and for all those who worked with us to get this bill on the books to put perpetrators under a greater microscope and help survivors get closure,” Grassley said.
“The passage of this historic bill means that at least 25 million rape survivors in America have civil rights protected by the federal government for the first time in this nation's history. There is still work left to be done in the states, and this federal law is a critical model that Statehouses can adopt. We are grateful for Senator Grassley's leadership.” Nguyen said.
After hearing Amanda Nguyen’s story and ideas for how Congress could better help survivors of sexual violence, Grassley’s Judiciary Committee staff introduced her to several leading national victim advocacy organizations to assist in formulating a legislative proposal. Grassley and his staff continued to work with Amanda to develop her proposal, which Grassley included in the bipartisan Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act. Grassley led the package through the Judiciary Committee in April. It passed in the full Senate in May on a vote of 89-0. Grassley then led the charge in the Senate to approve the House of Representatives’ version of the bill in September.