Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has just introduced the SAFER Act as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the US Senate. A top legislative priority for RAINN, SAFER will help end the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rapes. Here, Sen. Cornyn discusses with RAINN why he has taken the lead on this important issue, and how SAFER will help solve the problem.
Why is the DNA rape kit backlog issue important to you?
It has always been about justice for victims. The fact that victims of these crimes have to wait years for justice is deplorable. Furthermore, by timely testing of rape kits, serial offenders can be stopped earlier. We can and we must do better.
Why are you so passionate about the SAFER Act?
While I was Texas Attorney General, I oversaw a robust expansion of programs aimed at cracking down on domestic violence and assisting its victims. We had a lot of success, and I'm eager to replicate that success nationally. The SAFER Act will provide states with the resources they need to address backlogged DNA evidence and uphold the rule of law.
What are the next steps for SAFER?
I'll be working closely with my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) to move it forward. As with any piece of legislation, members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about why the bill is important to them. I'd like to call on RAINN's supporters to contact their representatives and senators and let their voices be heard on this issue. Together, we can ensure that justice is served.