Amanda Nguyen fought to keep her rape kit from being destroyed — then she rewrote national law to protect other survivors.
“I’m a rape survivor. And when I met a broken criminal justice system, I decided that my story was not mine alone,” she explained. “I remember trying to research what my rights were after I was raped, and it was so hard to find basic information.”
Nguyen found out that in Massachusetts, prior to her law being enacted, that her kit could be destroyed in six months even if the statute of limitations is 15 years.
“The worst thing that happened to me wasn’t being raped. It was being betrayed by a broken criminal justice system,” she stated. “I realized I had a choice. I could accept the injustice or rewrite the law.”
Nguyen created the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights to ensure other survivors have access to their basic rights and not have their evidence destroyed before the statute of limitations. The bill became the 21st in modern US. history to pass unanimously through Congress.
She also started Rise in 2014, which is a nonprofit to protect survivors of sexual assault. She has inspired more than 130 “risers” across 48 states and 4 countries to join her movement.