Bill Alert SB 5937

Supporting crime victims and witnesses by
promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses

Summary of bill and impact on Washington:

Change Impact
1.  Establishes the Statewide Forensic Nurse Coordination Program to reduce victims’ barriers to accessing sexual assault, intimate-partner violence and other forensic exam barriers. Currently, nine counties do not have hospitals that provide forensic medical exams. 1. Reduces barriers for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs and standardizes statewide care. Also integrates information and referrals for victims of sexual assault into local or state hotlines. Reduces the likelihood that a victim’s access to an exam will be determined by the zip code in which they are assaulted.
2. Requires victims to be reimbursed for reasonable transportation costs from the place of injury to a place of treatment, and from the place of treatment to a reasonable location of the victim’s choice. 2. Reimburses victims for 100% of their travel expenses incurred as a result of the assault. Currently, victims may only be reimbursed for one-way care to a hospital.
3. Removes the statute of limitations for rape committed by first responders. 3. Allows victims to initiate legal proceedings following a first responder’s alleged offense at any point in time.
4. Requires each county to establish a Sexual Assault Response Team, or to coordinate with other local jurisdictions. Teams typically include law enforcement, medical and mental health providers, and community-based victim advocates. 4. Offers a specific intervention model focused on immediate and consistent response to sexual assault victims with the goal of implementing and maintaining a comprehensive, coordinated, trauma-informed and victim-centered approach of intervention and care.


For the full bill alert, click here.


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