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 passed the Senate. The SAFER Act would reauthorize, strengthen, and extend the Sexual Assault Forensic Registry program in an effort to help reduce the national rape kit backlog.
“The idea that we have evidence laying around in labs that we could be using to bring criminals to justice is unacceptable,” said Klobuchar. “Passing this bipartisan legislation in the Senate is an important step forward in providing more resources for our law enforcement to address the rape kit backlog."
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) are 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. Last year, the Klobuchar-backed bipartisan Justice for All Reauthorization Act was signed into law. 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.