Senator Chuck Grassley.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is chairing a Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on what’s known as the Violence Against Women Act. That legislation was originally passed in 1994 and is due to be reauthorized soon. Grassley says the law was designed to better prevent crimes against women and to empower survivors.

“I will hold a hearing on the importance of the law and areas where we can make it an even better law,” Grassley says. “We will hear from two women who’ve made it their life’s work to empower women and seek justice for those who have been victimized.” One of the witnesses is Amanda Nguyen, who was sexually assaulted in Massachusetts in 2013.

“She happens to be on a big mission to secure new rights for others who have been harmed like she has been harmed,” Grassley says. “I worked with Amanda in 2016 to enact a bill that went by the title of Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights.” That law guarantees victims of such crimes at the federal level have access to forensics and related exams and that the evidence is preserved. Nguyen launched a non-profit group called Rise, which is dedicated to preserving and furthering the rights of survivors.

“Crimes targeting women is a very difficult topic,” Grassley says, “but it is important that we do everything in our power to protect and empower victims and to prevent future crimes.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.