Sen Ward Bill Establishes Rape Victims Bill of Rights

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has introduced a bill in the Alabama Senate that will require that victims of sexual assault be given a written notification of their civil rights.

Under Senate Bill 388, survivors of sexual assault can receive information that details their rights to consult confidentially with a counselor during any evidentiary interview with a law enforcement officer or attorney; the bill specifics that they retain such rights even if they had waived them in a previous examination.

Forensic testing will also be required within a certain time frame for victims of sexual assault, if the victim consents to the test. The submission of a sexual assault kit that allows an examiner to collect biological evidence from an alleged victim will be also be required.

Ward’s bill will also establish the Rights of Survivors of Sexual Assault Task Force to ensure that the requirements detailed in this act are properly followed and reported.

“I want justice for all crimes, especially for victims of sexual assault,” Ward said. “This bill reinforces a safe, secure, and fair process for victims of sexual assault in our state, ensuring that they can have justice.”

This bill does not require any victims to consent to any part of the process that this act details.

“I understand that there is trauma that comes with being a part of such a horrific event as sexual abuse,” Ward said. “With this bill, I want anyone who has been victimized in this way to understand that they have rights and deserve justice.”  

Senate Bill 388 would require the Attorney General’s office to work with the task force and other authorities to create a sexual assault kit tracking system, compile data, and submit reports to the Legislature.

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Republican Senator Cam Ward represents District 14 in the Alabama State Senate, which includes all or parts of Shelby, Bibb, Chilton, Hale, and Jefferson counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @SenCamWard

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