Senate passes bill to preserve sexual assault kits
© Greg Nash

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation ensuring sexual assault survivors in federal criminal cases have access to forensic evidence collection kits, sending the bill to President Obama's desk. 

The legislation, known as the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was passed by unanimous consent as lawmakers prepare to leave Washington until after the election. The House passed the measure earlier this month. 
 
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"Passage of this bill marks a momentous day for survivors of sexual assault, and it really is a testament to the important progress that we can make in Congress when we work together on a bipartisan basis to address the needs of the American people," she added on the Senate floor. 
 
The measure would also allow survivors to request preservation of rape kits containing forensic evidence for the duration of the maximum statue of limitations and be told about any test results from the kits. 
 
Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday credited Washington, D.C., resident Amanda Nguyen as "the driving force" behind the bill. 
 
Nguyen has had to extend preservation of her rape kit every six months in Massachusetts because of state laws that allow it to otherwise destroy the evidence kit if the crime isn’t reported within that time.
 
Shaheen also credited Nguyen with being the "moving force" behind the bill, adding "I was deeply moved by Amanda's experience, and soon after that initial meeting, I got to work with staff."
 
Nguyen, according to a People profile from late last month, hasn’t officially pressed charges for the 2013 rape because she works outside of Massachusetts and says she doesn’t have the time or resources right now for a trial lasting months or even years.