Ending Sexual Violence
Sexual violence cuts across party lines and affects women, men, and families in every single part of this country. It’s also an issue that’s deeply personal for me. Last year, for the first time, I shared my own experiences with sexual violence. Doing so was not easy. The stigma that surrounds this issue has silenced many survivors, but it's long past time we shatter that silence.
In April, I launched the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence with my colleagues and co-chairs, Representatives Jackie Speier (CA-14) and David Joyce (OH-14). The task force will drive legislation and policy that will support survivors of sexual assault and educate our fellow members of Congress as well as the public about how we can end this persistent problem.
Areas of the Task Force’s focus include: K-12 education, college campus safety, the rape kit backlog, military sexual trauma, ending online harassment, improved data and collection, and law enforcement training. Throughout the rest of the 115th Congress, the Task Force will be holding hearings on its areas of focus, developing and releasing a legislative agenda, and hosting educational briefings for staff and Members to raise awareness about the primary policy issues related to sexual violence.
I am a long-time advocate for survivors. Earlier this year, I hosted a panel discussion about sexual violence at the US Capitol featuring three brave women: Julia Dixon, Delaney Henderson, and Chessy Prout. I am proud to use my platform to help amplify the voices of other survivors.
There are also legislative actions Congress can take to help end sexual violence. Last year, I partnered with Congresswoman Speier to introduce the Safe Transfer Act, which would require the inclusion of information about sexual assault on college transcripts. We also introduced the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency on (HALT) Campus Sexual Violence Act which would require the Department of Education to publicly disclose schools that are under federal Title IX investigation, as well as strengthen penalties for schools that are in violation, among other reforms.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with sexual violence or harassment, the following resources can provide support and guidance:
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Sexual Assault Hotline
More on Ending Sexual Violence
**NDAA includes a pay raise for military members**
**Kuster priorities and provisions to address military sexual assault, support New Hampshire jobs, fight opioid epidemic included in final legislation**
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) today introduced H.R. 6464, the bipartisan Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) Campus Sexual Violence Act to strengthen prevention and enforcement efforts to combat campus sexual violence.
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence announced its legislative agenda to prevent and address instances of sexual violence across the country. The agenda showcases bipartisan legislation from members of the Task Force. The bills focus on a range of issues, from the sexual assault kit backlog to human trafficking and online safety.
The Task Force is co-chaired by Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Dan Donovan (R-NY)
(Washington, DC) - Today Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted in favor of Department of Defense Appropriations legislation, which included provisions advocated for by Kuster to address military sexual assault and the over prescribing of opioids, and to better support the families of fallen servicemembers. The legislation set aside funding for an examination of the DoD’s opioid prescribing practices and also to make payments of up to $100,000 to the loved ones of fallen troops.
(Washington, DC) – Today, an amendment offered by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) was approved for inclusion in the Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations legislation. Kuster’s amendment will fund the study of what the military calls “collateral misconduct” – violations of often minor military offenses discovered during the investigation of sexual violence after reported by survivors. A RAND survey of military members who survived sexual assaults but refused to report the attacks found 22 percent feared being punished for collateral misconduct.
(Washington, DC) – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Annie Kuster (D-NH) sent the following letter to House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Jack Bergman (R-MI) urging him to immediately schedule an oversight hearing to investigate the high rates of sexual harassment currently taking place at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
(Washington, DC) – Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Mia Love (R-UT), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) applauded the passage of a key provision from their legislation to protect military survivors of sexual assault as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).