April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as I mentioned before. So first off let me apologize that I didn’t get this up earlier (special apology to UNLV’s Take Back the Campus event April 15, which I wanted to promote). Unfortunately, you can’t really plan for going to an out-of-state funeral, so I guess that’s how it goes.
Don’t worry, there’s still a heap of great events and info for all to share (for my readers outside the Las Vegas metro area, here for a surprising number of amazing events) …
- April 22 is the international kick-off for international Denim Day, a campaign that raises awareness about the issue of sexual assault. (You can e-mail the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- April 23 at 6 p.m. the Rape Crisis Center of Las Vegas will be showing the documentary “No!” followed by a panel discussion. E-mail the RCC for details: email@example.com.
- April 26 to May 2 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
- May 4 is SAFE House’s 4th annual benefit Girls Night Out.
- You can also see displays and information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month at the following local libraries: Enterprise, Spring Valley and Henderson.
But wait, there’s more! There are a few bills making their way through the Nevada Legislature as we speak:
- AB114: This bill will change the amount of time a victim of a crime has to file an appeal to the victim compensation program (lengthening the time from 15 days to 60). According to the legislative website, it looks like this bill was agendized in a hearing this morning. No word what happened.
- AB116: Sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Carpenter, this bill would amend NRS 217.180 to remove the “contributory conduct” clause from the Victims of Crime Compensation Program. (Siren readers may remember that the “contributory conduct” clause meant that victims could be denied compensation by the program for such factors as consumption of alcohol or how they acted — in effect telling victims they deserved it.) This bill has passed the Assembly.
- AB120: This bill would allow victims of sexual assault to get temporary protective orders (also known as restraining orders) against their attacker. (Unbelievably, this is currently NOT an option!) This bill passed the Assembly and has been read into record at the Senate. Looks like it was on the agenda of the Senate judiciary committee this morning.
- There is another bill, unfortunately I don’t have the bill reference number at my finger-tips (somebody leave it in comments or e-mail me if you have it) that would allow sexual assault victims to undergo a rape kit as a “Jane Doe” or “John Doe.” This is important because many victims fear retribution if they prosecute or do something as simple as a rape kit. Right now the only way to do a rape kit is to do so under your legal name. No word on this bill’s status.
And remember, if you know someone who is or you yourself have been the victim of sexual violence, there are resources out there for you. Discreet, confidential resources.
We have a great resource in the Rape Crisis Center. You can call them at 702-366-1640 anytime day or night.
You can also get help through the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.