Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today cosponsored legislation that improves guidance to states and hospitals providing sexual assault services and treatment to survivors. Introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA) develops national standards of care for survivors and expands access to qualified examiner services.
“Survivors of sexual assault deserve every resource and support possible as they process and recover from their physical and emotional trauma. I’m proud to support legislation that prioritizes the care of sexual assault survivors and improves access and quality of hospital examinations in Nevada, and across the country.”
In addition to U.S. Senators Cortez Masto, Murray and Murkowski, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also supported this legislation.
The Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA) would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish federal standards for examination and treatment for survivors of sexual assault. It would also establish a pilot program to expand medical forensic exam training and services, and create a national sexual assault taskforce to better understand and address survivors’ needs. SASCA would provide for state-level review of current practices to better understand deficits in care, develop best practices and improve public awareness of forensic examinations.
Full text of the bill is available here.