Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Amanda Nguyen: Hero to Survivors

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

UPDATE: Amanda made a petition to urge congress to support her bill! Go sign it!

Somehow I'm just now hearing of a bill introduced to congress that guarantees a number of rights directly to sexual assault victims and survivors. This is the first of its kind on a federal level and is brilliant and amazing and extremely necessary and how have we gone so long without it. But also, thank fuck for Amanda Nguyen, the 24-year-old Vietnamese American woman and brilliant individual who penned the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

The bill, almost certain to get bipartisan support (though you never know what those Republican shitheads will pull), includes the right of survivors to be provided with an advocate/counselor who can help them navigate the fucked legal system, and gives them the right to access information about their rape kit.

Nguyen was unfortunately assaulted in Massachusetts and submitted a rape kit. Despite it being a liberal state, the legal system forced her to scramble around every six months trying to find the thing so that she could submit the proper paperwork to avoid having it destroyed.

“The system essentially makes me live my life by date of rape,” Nguyen said.

Fuck. So every six months she had to live through the reminder of her trauma and the reminder of how much the state doesn't give a shit about it.

Nguyen then went above and beyond what any survivor should ever need to do to get decent treatment and wrote up a list of basic rights survivors she had, got community support and cosponsors for her bill, and got it to the Senate floor. She also works with RISE in her spare time. The non-profit is dedicated to helping sexual assault victims get the advocacy, support, and justice they deserve.

I am in awe of this woman who has accomplished so much and is also in training to become an ASTRONAUT by age 24. All hail Amanda Nguyen, hero and awesome amazing person.



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