3 Reforms I Hope the Biden Presidency Brings
1. Criminal Justice Reform
I won’t say much about this here, but please read my past blog post, “What Happened When I Reported.” You can also read this great article about mass incarceration and how rehabilitation can lead to a safer society.
2. Health Care Reform
After sexual assault, many survivors seek medical treatment. As we overview in Why Do I Need Medical Treatment? on our GET HELP page, survivors seek these services for injuries, sexual assault forensic exams or rape kits, STIs/STDs, and pregnancies. While the Violence Against Women Act requires that sexual assault forensic exams or rape kits be free to survivors, other services can add up to overwhelming costs. A recent survey suggests that 43% of Americans are struggling with health care costs. Their reasons include "being uninsured (12.5%), coverage gaps (9.5%), and having such high out-of-pocket costs or deductibles relative to their income that they were effectively 'underinsured' (21%)." (1)
Affordable health care is not only needed for physical illnesses. It is also needed for mental illnesses which, when untreated, can lead to unemployment and death. According to RAINN:
“94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.
30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.
33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.
13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.
Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime." (2)
Mental illnesses threaten and take the lives of sexual assault survivors everyday.
“According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, 42% of the population see cost and poor insurance coverage as the top barriers for accessing mental health care. One in four Americans reported having to choose between getting mental health treatment and paying for daily necessities.” (3)
If we want a better America, then we need better health care.
3. Title IX Reform
If you do not know what Title IX is, you can read about it in "How Do I Report It To My School?" on our GET HELP page. President Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, catastrophically damaged Title IX during his four years in office. According to the HuffPost, "it could take years for [President Biden's Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona] to Repeal Betsy Devos' Harmful Title IX Policy." Later this year, my mother and I will talk more about Title IX in relation to HUMAN.
As we start a new chapter is US history, I hope our new president and vice president will make America greater than it has ever been!
However, we have a part to play in them doing so. Yesterday, we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an ordinary man who saw injustices that someone needed to do something about. We are all someones, and we need to work together to stop the injustices in our nation. This includes the injustice of sexual assault.