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Governor Justice signs common-sense legislation protecting survivors and their rights

CHARLESTON, W.V. –– Women’s health and rights supporters celebrated today as Governor Jim Justice signed into law the Sexual Assault Bill of Rights. This bill, which Planned Parenthood South Atlantic worked in close partnership with lawmakers to introduce and pass this year, codifies into law that victims of sexual assault in West Virginia have rights after an attack and should feel empowered by the state to exercise them.

“We’re proud to have made The Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights a reality for all West Virginians this year,” said Alisa Clements, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “At Planned Parenthood we believe survivors and know this legislation is coming at a critical time in our nation’s history. This law provides survivors with necessary support and increased transparency throughout the aftermath of an assault. We applaud this bipartisan legislation for putting the needs of sexual assault survivors first.”

The Sexual Assault Bill of Rights will provide eight essential and commonsense rights to victims of sexual assault. It also increases transparency for victims - from notifying a victim of these rights to walking a victim through the examination process to having an advocate present in the exam room and the courthouse, this bill would allow victims to be in control of the reporting process.

After passing both chambers of the West Virginia legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, Governor Jim Justice signed SB 72 into law March 27, 2019.