Statement on changes made to the Sexual Assault Victim’s Rights Amendment Act (SAVRAA) 2019
Statement from Jess Davidson, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus:
The DC Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety just released a bill that has sided with special interest groups and rolls back protections included in a previous version that we consider essential for survivors.
As an organization that is survivor centered, we understand that trauma-informed support is non-negotiable in any policy about the survivor experience.
Removing these protections will harm survivors by:
- Only offering an advocate if a survivor agrees to a medical exam and only at one D.C. hospital, inaccessible to many residents.
- Only offering advocates through one program, keeping a diverse range of options from survivors at a crucial and vulnerable moment in their experience.
- Taking away a requirement that DC police ask the survivor if they would like an advocate before proceeding with an interview.
- This is dangerous and restrictive for survivors who need the full range of care and options given to them when they choose to seek medical help after experiencing sexual violence. This is unacceptable.
Here’s what you can do right now:
- Call (202-724-8072) or email ([email protected]) Committee Chair Charles Allen and let him know that the changes to SAVRAA 2.0 are unacceptable and that survivors deserve choices, culturally competent care, and accessible resources that respect their rights and are trauma informed.
- Spread the message – let others know you’re taking a stand to support survivors and ask others to do the same!
- Reach out to the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign at [email protected] if you’re interested in volunteering or getting involved.