Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights

Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-07-16
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights
Unit 2 Transcript: Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights
Unit 3 Workbook: Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights
Unit 4 Recording: Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights

Amanda Nguyen was a college student at Harvard. She was sexually assaulted and wasn’t sure if she wanted to report to the police or not. While most people would recommend someone who’s been through such a horrible experience to not let the incident consume one’s life –  Amanda did just that, albeit in a more constructive and empowering way. That’s the reason why the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights came to existence.

Katharine Manning joins Justice Clearinghouse to discuss the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. Katharine is the President of Blackbird LLC, an organization that provides training and consultation on issues of trauma and victimization. Her career has been centered in criminal justice work, particularly in Victims’ Rights for more than 25 years.

Specifics of this webinar include:

  • How Amanda Nguyen’s case became the impetus that pushed for the legislation of the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights.
  • The two main goals that the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights aim to address.
  • Breaking down the rights that the statute afforded the survivors.
    • Ensuring victims are not prevented from having a medical forensic examination.
    • Having access to the result of the rape kit and preserved in accordance with the statute of limitations.
    • Awareness of the policies governing the collection and preservation of the kit and its results.
    • Notice of intended destruction and the ability to be granted further preservation.
  • A look into the states that have passed their version of the statute and grant funding available for implementation of the statute.
  • The protections and provisions that the states added granting victims/survivors with…
    • Information on the rights and services available.
    • Access to a sexual assault advocate or a companion as they go through the processes.
    • Alternative and more convenient means to have the exam conducted.
    • Trauma-informed care and response from the agencies they deal with.
  • Other trends observed across the states, particularly the audit of the untested kits, dealing with the testing backlog, and tracking kits throughout the criminal justice process.
  • The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights Working Group Report.
    • The objective, the participants, and the sample population of the qualitative research.
    • The recurring themes of the study looking at survivors’ need for medical care and trauma-informed response, a holistic approach to investigation that is beyond DNA, coordinated community response, tracking evidence, best practices, and the varying experience of victims within the system.
  • Various resources to better incorporate the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights within the criminal justice system.
    • Policies, protocol, and best practices.
    • Trauma-informed approach, survivor perspective, and other special topics.

Katharine clarified points in the Q&A on:

  • The length of time that the results of the rape kit are binding.
  • Reimbursing costs of testing.
  • Standardizing the rape kit supply chain and tracking.
  • Victims’ compensation: Costs for medical care, inclusion of mental health services, and conditions to have these covered.
  • Law enforcement’s responsibility to process rape kits and not pre-judge the case.
  • Victims requesting to take the kit to a private testing facility and the potential chain of custody issues with this.


Other Webinars with this Presenter


Resources & Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Federal statute and application to states; my state doesn’t have some of the policies that are in other jurisdictions and I’d like to assist in changing that. The host has wonderful experience and was very knowledgeable.” — Veronica
  • “This was a good overview of the topic, with many details I did not know. I really appreciated all of the training resources and the suggestions for attendees to also explore the survivor experience. Also, I was very excited to learn about the forthcoming book because this not only is just the type of resource I was looking for that is relevant to my position, but, also will begin to set a new and better standard for the workplace, I hope.” — Tina
  • “WOW! There was a lot of new information. So much that is directly applicable. I would just add that I firmly believe that interrupting the cycle of abuse for men will end the cycle of victimization for women, men and children, as adult and teen males are typically the offenders.” — Edward
  • “I enjoyed this webinar! I also liked the engagement of resources shared.” — Tia
  • “Katharine Manning was awesome!” — Loretta J
  • “Kathryn has a wealth of knowledge. I would love any future webinars she would present. Lots of great resources shared as well.” — Lisa
  • “What an amazing and informative session! Thank you so much for all of the information!” — Dawnette
  • “The entire webinar was extremely informative and thought-provoking. I value the professional development and skill enhancement opportunities offered by the JCH and look forward to continued participation in future events. Thank you.” — Asia
  • “I really appreciated being able to learn about what laws for survivors are in place throughout the US. I am interested in introducing legislation ideas for my state (CA) based on some of the laws in other states.” — Athena


This webinar was pre-approved for 1 CEU credit by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP).  Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.  To learn more about NOVA, visit




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