Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) are the winner’s of RAINN’s 2013 Crime Fighter Award, in recognition of their leadership in the fight against sexual violence. Since 2005, RAINN has honored lawmakers whose efforts have helped reduce sexual violence and improve the lives of sexual assault victims. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
“Sen. McConnell and Rep. Wasserman Schultz are indispensable partners to RAINN on Capitol Hill. Their extraordinary leadership, hard work and bipartisan efforts have led to a significant reduction in sexual violence and the expansion of victims’ services,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN.
Senate Republican Leader McConnell is a co-sponsor of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act, which renews the Debbie Smith Act and will help crime labs end the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rape cases and put more rapists behind bars. Rep. Wasserman Schultz this year introduced a bill to lead states to terminate rapists’ parental rights over children conceived as a result of the crime.
Both of these leaders also supported the SAFER Act, which Congress passed earlier this year to reduce the rape kit evidence backlog.
“We thank Sen. McConnell and Rep. Wasserman Schultz for their extraordinary efforts to pass laws that put more rapists behind bars, help victims, and make our communities safer. We are lucky to have them as allies and partners in this fight,” said Berkowitz.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award and I thank RAINN for its support. I look forward to continuing to work with them on behalf of the Kentuckians I represent in the United States Senate,” Sen. McConnell said. “RAINN does incredibly important work by providing critical outreach to those who feel like they have nowhere else to turn. RAINN is doing far more than just assisting the victims of sexual violence. It’s helping to turn back the tide of sexual violence and ensuring that those who perpetrate these terrible crimes are brought to justice.”
“I am honored to receive the Crime Fighter Award from RAINN, an organization whose scope and impact have grown dramatically over the past two decades,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23). “Whether it’s assisting victims through their National Sexual Assault Hotline or educating young men and women on college campuses nationwide, RAINN has fought tirelessly to give a voice to the victims of rape and sexual abuse. I’m grateful for RAINN’s support of my bill, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, and I look forward to continuing our work together to prevent sexual violence and help victims of abuse.”
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. The hotlines have helped more than 1.9 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.