Amanda Nguyen testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in 2018
|Born||1991 (age 27–28)|
|Education||Bachelor of Arts and Science, Harvard University, 2013 |
|Occupation||Founder and CEO of Rise|
|Known for||Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act|
Amanda N. Nguyen (born c. 1991) is the founder and CEO of Rise, a non-governmental civil rights organization. She was the power behind the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act, one of 23 bills to pass unanimously through US congress.
Education and career
She interned at NASA in 2013, and has also worked at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She worked as the Deputy White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of State. She left her job at the State Department in 2016 to work full-time at Rise. Encouraged by her mentors during her time at NASA, she is in training to become an astronaut.
In 2013, Nguyen was raped while she was in college in Massachusetts. Nguyen chose not to press charges immediately since she did not feel she had the necessary time and resources to participate in a trial that could potentially last for years. After police officers informed her there was a 15-year statute of limitations for rape in Massachusetts, she decided she would press charges at a later date when she was ready. She had a rape kit performed and discovered that, if she did not report the crime to law enforcement, her rape kit would be destroyed after 6 months if an extension request was not filed. She was also not given official instructions on how to file for an extension. Nguyen considered this system to be broken, partially because the extension request would be an unnecessary reminder of a traumatizing experience. Nguyen met other survivors with similar stories and concluded that the current legal protections were insufficient.
In November 2014, Nguyen founded Rise, a nonprofit organisation which is aimed to protect the civil rights of sexual assault and rape survivors. Nguyen headed the organisation in her spare time until September 2016. Everyone who works with Rise is a volunteer, and the organisation has raised money through GoFundMe. Nguyen explained that the organisation was named Rise to "remind us that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can rise up and change the world." Nguyen's aim is for Rise to pass a Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights in all 50 U.S. states as well as on the national level. She has also travelled to Japan where a similar bill was presented.
Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act
In July 2015, Nguyen met with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen to discuss legislation that would protect survivor rights on the federal level. Legislation that Nguyen had helped draft was introduced to Congress in February 2016 by Shaheen. Nguyen collaborated with Change.org and comedy website Funny or Die to draw attention to the legislation and encourage voters to support it. Nguyen launched a Change.org petition that called on Congress to pass the legislation. The Funny or Die video and Change.org petition received support from Judd Apatow and Patricia Arquette on Twitter. As of 28 February 2016, the Change.org petition gained 60,000 of the 75,000 requested signatures. By October 2016, there were more than 100,000 signatures.
The bill passed through the Senate in May and the House of Representatives in September. It passed unanimously in both chambers of Congress, and was signed into law in October 2016 by President Barack Obama. The new law protects, among other rights, the right to have the evidence of a rape kit preserved without charge for the duration of the statute of limitations.
On October 12, 2017, California governor Jerry Brown approved a bill titled "Sexual assault victims: rights".
Nguyen received a Young Women's Honors Award from Marie Claire magazine in 2016. She was on Foreign Policy magazine's list of the leading global thinkers in 2016, and Forbes' 2017 "30 Under 30" Law & Policy list. She was an invited speaker at the 2017 Women's March on Washington. In 2018, California representatives Mimi Walters and Zoe Lofgren nominated Nguyen for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
- "Students Help Draft Sexual Assault Legislation". The Harvard Crimson. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Amanda Nguyen". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Risers". RiseNow. Rise. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "How a 24-Year-Old Rape Survivor Is Pushing Congress to Change the Way the U.S. Handles Sexual Assault". People. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Who Is Amanda Nguyen? The Young Women's Honoree Worked With President Obama To Protect American Women". Bustle. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "'30 Under 30' Honoree Amanda Nguyen Is Fighting for Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights". NBC News. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Global Thinkers 2016: Amanda Nguyen". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Rising Stars 2017: Advocates". Roll Call. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Rape survivors have fewer rights than you'd think. Amanda Nguyen is trying to change that". The Boston Globe. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Sexual Assault Bill Author Encourages Youth Activism". The Harvard Crimson. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- Ronan, Alex. "The Lenny Interview: Amanda Nguyen". Lenny Letter. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- ""Navigating the broken system was worse than the rape itself"". The New York Times. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Meet the 24-year-old who could change how the US handles sexual assaults". The Guardian. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "The woman behind the sexual-assault survivor 'bill of rights'". PBS. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "How One Victim's Fight Got Sexual Assault Bill to Obama". Roll Call. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "24-Year-Old Rape Survivor Is Pushing Congress to Pass Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights". Time. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Obama Expected To Sign Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill Of Rights Into Law". NPR. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "To combat rape, a 'bill of rights' for survivors". The Christian Science Monitor. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Do We Need a Bill of Rights for Sexual-Assault Survivors?". TakePart. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Here's What a Bunch of 'Supervillains' Think About U.S. Sexual Assault Laws". Fortune. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "This Rape Survivor Just Helped Get a Huge Bill Passed Through the House". The Cut. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Obama Just Signed The Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill Of Rights". Refinery29. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "Bill Text - AB-1312 Sexual assault victims: rights". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "Marie Claire Magazine Young Women's Honors Award Recipients 2016". Marie Claire. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "The Rape Survivor Who Turned Her Activism Into A Nobel Peace Prize Nomination". HuffPost. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
- "I am pleased to nominate Amanda Nguyen for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Nguyen has been a tireless advocate for survivors of sexual assault and is absolutely deserving of this prestigious recognition". Twitter. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- "Sexual Assault Survivor's Bill of Rights Creator Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize". Women's Health. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-07.