Committe meets on senate bill that would establish Bill of Rights for sexual assault survivors

5 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 1:08:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in Continuous News
By: Janelle Finch, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee meet in the Senate lounge to discuss Senate Bill 812, which will establish the "Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights" and the "Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force." The bill is sponsored by Senator David Sater (R) who wants to make sexual assault victims heard.

The bill was first introduced last December.

According to the bill, "certain rights are provided for survivors of sexual assault during any medical evidentiary or physical examination and during any interview by a law enforcement official, prosecuting attorney, or defense attorney." 

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds.

Senator Sater said he took the lead on supporting this bill because he believes sexual assault victims need certain protected rights.

"This bill is going to lay out a template for sexual assault victims," said Sater. "It's going to help lay out the foundation for those who experience this kind of trauma, where they can go and who can help them."

Sater said his background as a pharmacist showed him that there are people in the world who fit this need.

The task force detailed in the bill will serve as a committee to "collect data regarding sexual assault reporting, arrest, prosecution rates, access to sexual assault victims services, and any other important data, as well as collect feedback from stakeholders, practitioners, and leadership throughout the state and local law enforcement, victim services, forensic science practitioners, and health care communities."

"The task force is comprised of private citizens, law enforcement, legislators, it's to make sure the state knows to protect these people," said Sater.

If approved, the bill will go into effect August 2020.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual assault, there are several resources in the Missouri area you can reach out to.

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