Amd §2805-i, Pub Health L; amd §838-a, add §838-b, Exec L
Provides for the establishment of a sexual assault victim bill of rights by the department of health, in consultation with the division of criminal justice services and the office of victim services; establishes a victim's right to notice.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8401C
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law and the execu-
tive law, in relation to establishing a sexual assault victim bill of
rights; and to amend the executive law, in relation to maintenance of
sexual assault evidence, establishing a victim's right to notice prior
To provide for the establishment of a Sexual Assault Victim Bill of
Rights by the Department of Health, in consultation with the Division of
Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the Office of Victim Services, hospi-
tals and other health care providers, and victim advocacy organizations.
This bill also establishes a Victim's Right to Notice about the status
of their sexual offense evidence kit.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 6 of section 2805-i of the public health
law by renumbering it as subdivision 7 and adds a new subdivision 6 to
require the Department of Health, in consultation with DCJS, the Office
of Victim Services, hospitals and other health care providers, and
victim advocacy organizations to establish a Sexual Assault Victim Bill
of Rights for purposes of informing sexual assault victims of their
rights under state law.
Section 2 amends the executive law by renumbering the current subdivi-
sion 3 of section 838-a as subdivision 4 and adds a new subdivision 3 to
provide that each police agency, prosecutorial agency, and other law
enforcement agency shall adopt policies and procedures concerning
contact with sexual assault victims and the provision of information to
victims, upon request, concerning their sexual assault evidence kits.
Section 3 amends the executive law by adding a new section 838-b to
create a Victim's Right to Notice, which provides that a sexual assault
victim has the right to be notified of the date and location at which
their sexual offense evidence kit was assessed and analyzed, whether a
CODIS eligible profile was developed, and whether a DNA match was iden-
tified, provided that the police agency, prosecutorial agency, or other
law enforcement agency serving the jurisdiction may temporarily delay
release of DNA match information if it would compromise an ongoing
Section 4 provides the effective date of this act.
While New York has made great progress in strengthening our laws to
eliminate the backlog of rape kits statewide and prevent premature
destruction of evidence, it is clear that more must be done to support
sexual assault survivors through every stage of the criminal justice
process. This legislation requires the Department of Health, in consul-
tation with DCJS, the Office of Victim Services and other stakeholders,
to establish a Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights for purposes of
informing sexual assault victims of their rights under state law,
including the right to consult with a rape crisis or victim assistance
organization, the right to appropriate health care services at no cost,
and the right to receive updates on their sexual offense evidence kit
and the status of their case. Notifying victims of their legal rights
will help ensure survivors are aware of the services available to them
and provided with the information they need to navigate complicated
medical and criminal justice systems. Additionally, this bill requires
all law enforcement agencies to adopt policies for communicating with
survivors that are victim-focused and trauma-informed. Finally, this
legislation creates a Victim's Right to Notice to enable a survivor to
request information on their sexual offense evidence kit from the police
agency or prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction over the crime. Togeth-
er, these provisions will create greater transparency and accountability
and help ensure that all sexual assault survivors are treated with
dignity, compassion, and respect.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect 180 days after it becomes law, except that
effective immediately, the addition, amendment, and/or repeal of any
rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act
on its effective date, including the compiling of the Sexual Assault
Victim Bill of Rights, are authorized and directed to be completed on or
before such effective date.