Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New York enacts Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Survivors

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman wants all survivors of rape and sexual assault to know about New York State’s new “sexual assault survivors' bill of rights.”

“This new law will require state government to establish a bill of rights for purposes of informing survivors of their rights under the law,” Getman said.

According to Getman, the bill of rights will include the victims’ right to:

• Consult with a rape crisis or victim assistance organization;
• Appropriate health care services at no cost;
• Receive updates on their sexual offense evidence kit and the status of their case; and
• Be notified before sexual assault evidence kits are destroyed
Under the law, Getman explained, all law enforcement agencies must adopt policies to help communicate with survivors and enable a survivor to request information on their sexual offense evidence kit from the police agency or prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction over the crime.

“Advising victims of their legal rights will help ensure they can navigate complicated medical and criminal justice systems and receive necessary assistance and treatment,” Getman said.

The measure was signed into law Friday (December 21) and is scheduled to take effect in June 2019.

The complete text of the new law can be found here.

The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor to the county legislature and other county officers, including the Sheriff, the District Attorney and the Department of Social Services. The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions and serves as the primary prosecutorial agency for cases presented in Schuyler County Family Court.