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. In 2016, 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 2017, 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). Since then, Representative John Katko (NY-24) has joined us as a co-chair. The task force is driving 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 116th Congress, the Task Force will be holding hearings on its areas of focus 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. In 2017, 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. 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
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Congresswoman Kuster Addressing Sexual Violence. A high resolution version of the photo is available here.
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