BREAKING: President Signs Dean Heller’s Bill to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog
Evidence backlog is a serious problem that Senator Dean Heller has a made a priority to deliver justice to victims and prevent future crimes.
Once again, Dean Heller delivers for Nevadans. Last night, the President signed into law the Justice Served Act, bipartisan legislation Dean Heller introduced to deliver justice to victims of vile crimes like sexual assault and direct federal funding to help prosecutors in their efforts to solve — and close — cold cases.
This is yet another major legislative achievement for Dean Heller, who has already had more than 100 pieces of legislation signed into law to help Nevadans as a U.S. Senator, and underscores his work to support victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Dean Heller has long led the fight in Congress to combat the nation’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits. Earlier this year, the President also signed another law that he authored — the SAFER Act — to assist law enforcement in their work to reduce Nevada’s backlog of rape kits and he also supported federal funding to help carry out DNA analysis of rape kits.
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Dean Heller has been a champion for survivors of these crimes by authoring and supporting several laws and pieces of legislation to help on-the-ground programs in Nevada.
A strong advocate for fighting against domestic violence, Dean Heller introduced a bill that would reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), a historic 1984 law that funds state and tribal programs such as emergency shelters and the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in one day alone in 2016 hundreds of Nevadans were served by programs made possible by the Family Violence Prevention Services Act.
To allow victims of domestic violence to stay with their pets, Dean Heller also co-authored the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, legislation that expands protections for domestic abuse survivors and which recently passed the U.S. Senate.
And in 2012, Dean Heller broke with his party and helped push into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides critical services for victims and their dependents and helps those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault find safety and rebuild their lives.
And to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, Dean Heller helped introduce a bill that increases transparency, provides support for survivors, and helps hold schools accountable.
While Dean Heller welcomes the progress that Congress has made on these issues during his time in the U.S. Senate, his work is far from complete. He continues to push Congress to pass and send to the President’s desk the Debbie Smith Crime Victims Prevention Act, another bill he authored that would go a long way toward further decreasing Nevada’s rape kit backlog.