Summary: H.R.5578 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-236 (10/07/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Survivors' Bill of Rights Act of 2016

(Sec. 3) This bill amends the federal criminal code to establish statutory rights for sexual assault survivors, including the right to: (1) not be prevented from receiving a forensic medical examination and not be charged for an examination; (2) have a sexual assault evidence collection kit (i.e., a rape kit) preserved for 20 years or the maximum applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter; (3) receive written notification prior to destruction or disposal of a rape kit; and (4) be informed of these rights and policies.

Additionally, it makes statutory crime victims' rights applicable to sexual assault survivors.

The term "sexual assault" means any nonconsensual sexual act prohibited by federal, state, or tribal law, including when a victim lacks capacity to consent.

Funds made available to the Crime Victims Fund under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 must be used to carry out the requirements concerning these rights, subject to specified exceptions.

The bill amends the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to authorize the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office of Justice Programs to make grants to states to develop sexual assault survivors' rights and policies and to disseminate written notice of such rights and policies to medical centers, hospitals, forensic examiners, sexual assault service providers, law enforcement agencies, and other state entities.

(Sec. 4) DOJ must establish a working group to develop, coordinate, and disseminate best practices regarding the care and treatment of sexual assault survivors and the preservation of forensic evidence.