Concord Patch: Kuster Applauds Grant to Strengthen NH's Sexual Assault Prosecutions
U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH, applauded the announcement on Dec. 15, 2015, that the New Hampshire Department of Justice has been awarded nearly $400,000 to strengthen the justice system’s response to sexual violence, according to a press statement.
The grant, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice, will enable the New Hampshire Department of Justice to evaluate best practices as well as strengthen collaboration between law enforcement agencies, sexual assault victim services providers, and medical forensic services providers.
“In the aftermath of sexual assault, it can be incredibly daunting and difficult for survivors to seek justice for the traumas that they experienced,” said Kuster. “This funding gives New Hampshire’s Department of Justice a special opportunity to evaluate and strengthen the current practices for sexual assault prosecution so that offenders are held accountable and victims are delivered the justice they deserve.”
Kuster has long been a champion for victims of sexual violence. Last year, Kuster worked across the aisle to help introduce legislation to address the issue of campus sexual assault. The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act aims to address sexual assaults on college and university campuses by protecting and empowering students, strengthening accountability and transparency for institutions and establishing stiff penalties for non-compliance with the legislation’s new standards for training, data and best practices. In 2013, she successfully fought to include in the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act a measure providing whistleblower protections for service members who report sexual assaults.