Assemblywoman Aravvella Simotas in a statement on Monday urged the approval of the Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights after Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s office last week announced a settlement against hospital that had improperly billed rape victims for forensic examinations.

“I am shocked and horrified by the illegal practice of billing rape survivors for forensic rape examinations, that Attorney General Barbara Underwood exposed last week,” Simotas said.

“One of the most disturbing aspects of this is that a new law might have prevented this travesty but it has been waiting for the governor’s signature for six months, after passing the Assembly and the Senate in June 2018. Until the governor signs it, the law will not take effect.”

The bill is meant to bolster the rights of survivors, including updates on the status of their rape kit and whether a DNA profile was developed and a match identified. It would also provide contact information for the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction of the crime.

And the bill would give the survivor the right to consultation with a representative from a rape crisis or victim assistance organization before a physical examination or law enforcement interview. The representative could also accompany the survivor through the examination and interview.

“No rape survivor should be re-traumatized by bureaucracy, ill-treatment, thoughtlessness or lack of transparency in the health care or criminal justice systems,” Simotas said.

“In 2016 the governor signed legislation that I sponsored to mandate the speedy processing of rape kits and end the backlog. I urge the governor to now sign the Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights so that our state continues to protect and advance the rights of sexual assault survivors.