WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have announced that their bipartisan legislation, the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act, has been signed into law by the President. The SAFER Act reauthorizes, strengthens, and extends the Sexual Assault Forensic Registry program in an effort to help reduce the national rape kit backlog.
“Behind every unprocessed rape kit is a victim of sexual assault wondering if they will ever see justice,” said Klobuchar. “This law will provide more resources for our law enforcement officers to cut down on the rape kit backlog and find the answers to unsolved crimes.”
“Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t have to live in fear while evidence that could bring their attackers to justice goes untested,” said Cornyn. “This law will assist in the efforts of our state and local law enforcement agencies to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits so survivors can get the justice and closure they deserve.”
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) were cosponsors of the legislation. The SAFER Act also ensures pediatric forensic nurses are eligible for training, which addresses the need for pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners in responding to children suffering from abuse.
Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to prevent domestic violence. The Klobuchar-backed bipartisan Justice for All Reauthorization Act was signed into law in 2016. The law strengthens the rights of crime victims by providing the protection they need to restore their lives and enhances law enforcement’s ability to proactively stop violent criminals. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act also aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. Klobuchar has also championed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and led efforts to pass bipartisan legislation supporting survivors of sexual assault in the military.