New York to Enact Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights

Law books and a gavel

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law establishing a sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights this past weekend. The new law, the first of its kind in the state of New York, will require the state Department of Health, in cooperation with various state agencies, to inform survivors of their rights under state law.

The bill of rights for survivors of sexual assault guarantees:

  • Access to survivor crisis and assistance organizations
  • No cost for necessary health care procedures and services
  • Informational updates on evidence collection and case status

Governor Cuomo remarked the importance of the new legislation, particularly in a climate that, in his opinion, ignores the voices of sexual assault survivors at the federal level. Advocates of the bill note that notifying victims of their legal rights will help ensure survivors are equipped with the resources they need to navigate an often difficult personal and legal process.

Unfortunately, experts estimate that around 80 percent of sexual assault victims are hesitant to disclose information about their assault. This bill of rights can empower survivors to share their story in their own way and help bring the offender to justice. The bill will require all New York law enforcement agencies to adopt these policies in the hope of communicating more effectively with survivors.

Any experience with sexual violence can be traumatic. If you or a loved one have suffered a sexual assault and would like to speak with a compassionate attorney who understands such cases, reach out to the law offices of Goldstein & Bashner. Our dedicated legal team is ready to fiercely advocate on your behalf and fight to preserve your rights. Call today and schedule an initial consultation to start reviewing your potential legal options.

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