In response to recent comments made by Representative Todd Akin (MO-2nd District), former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine released the following statement:
"Congressman Akin's comments on rape are offensive. Rhetoric that perpetuates misinformation about the horrific trauma of sexual violence is wrong and should be denounced widely. Survivors of these crimes deserve no less.
"As governor, I worked with members of both parties to eliminate outdated laws that discriminated against victims of sexual violence, increase services for women and men who have experienced such crimes, and support organizations that do important work in our communities to curb these offenses. My administration eliminated the practice of charging victims for their physical evidence recovery kits (PERK) and worked with local law enforcement agencies to extend the amount of time that physical evidence is preserved to allow victims additional time to make decisions regarding legal action. In addition, we strengthened victims' rights by eliminating the use of the polygraph in rape cases and repealing a law that allowed a defendant to obtain dismissal of a rape charge by marrying the victim. As senator, I will continue to work with partners from across the political spectrum to address these abhorrent crimes and provide support to survivors in Virginia and across the country."