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Cuomo signs bill of rights for sexual assault survivors

A measure that would create a bill of rights for survivors of rape and sexual assault was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“As the federal government shamefully ignores the voices of sexual assault survivors, New York is doing everything in our power to empower survivors and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will support our work to combat the scourge of sexual harassment and assault, help deliver justice to survivors and make New York a safer state for all.”

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Sen. Kemp Hannon, establishes the right of survivors to be informed of their rights under state law.

Those provisions include consulting with organizations that provide crisis or victim assistance counseling, health care services at no cost and updates on the status of their case and sexual evidence evidence kit.

“This is a great day that puts in place a missing protection for sexual assault survivors and bringing more compassion to the law enforcement response to survivors,” Simotas said.

“I’m thankful to Governor Cuomo for enacting this new law, to the advocates whose dedication and collaboration brought this about and to Kemp Hannon, my colleague in the State Senate who sponsored the bill in that house. I’m proud that we could all work together for such an important cause.”

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