Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

  • Mr. Speaker, it's my honor to recognize the 20th anniversary of the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one of our Nation's most effective victims' organizations.
  • Founded by Scott Berkowitz in 1994, RAINN is the Nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
  • Their cutting edge work has changed the outcome for victims of sexual violence for years.
  • They have made the country more aware of the evil of sexual assault and have aided millions of victims.
  • RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services around the clock and has served over 1.5 million people since 1994.
  • The hotline expanded its services going online in 2007 helping to reach even more victims.
  • In addition, RAINN operates the DOD Safe Helpline to aid victims of sexual violence in our military.
  • Beyond the hotline and other direct victim services, RAINN advocates for policies that change the lives of victims of sexual assault and engages the public to advocate on behalf of victims' rights bills.
  • They were vital in the passage of the Debbie Smith Act, its subsequent reauthorizations, the DNA Fingerprint Act, and the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, and the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Act.
  • I worked with RAINN on SAFER for years along with Congresswoman Maloney and Senator Cornyn.
  • SAFER provides grants to states and localities with existing funds to audit their rape kit backlog and makes this information available to the public.
  • SAFER also mandates that more current funds go directly to test rape kits.
  • Despite the various barriers we encountered throughout the years since this idea was brought to me by RAINN, Scott Berkowitz and the incredible staff at RAINN never gave up.
  • They persevered because they knew it was right.
  • They knew that SAFER would bring justice to victims and put perpetrators where they belong, behind bars.
  • Scott's spirit is like that of a Texan, even though he's from New Jersey, but we won't hold that against him.
  • That is why we work together so well.
  • Congratulations on 20 years of making a true difference in victims' lives.

  • And that's just the way it is.