Sen. Davis Passes Victims' Rights Bill for Rape Survivors from Committee
AUSTIN — The Senate Criminal Justice Committee today unanimously passed Senator Wendy Davis's legislation to greatly assist victims of sexual assault by empowering them to become involved in the processing of their evidence. Senate Bill 1192 would provide that victims of sexual assault may request information regarding evidence collected during the investigation as well as the status of its analysis.
"Senate Bill 1192 would guarantee that the victims of these horrifying crimes are respected and are made partners in the pursuit of justice," said Sen. Davis. "In providing an avenue to work with law enforcement, survivors of sexual assault will play an active role in seeing that justice is carried out."
Senate Bill 1192 seeks to grant victims of sexual assault the right to notification when significant action occurs regarding their forensic investigation. Significant action includes notification of a victim when:
- A law enforcement request to a crime lab to analyze DNA evidence occurs;
- Results of a comparison of rape kit evidence with a DNA database occurs; or
- A request to compare a particular suspect's DNA profile with a DNA database occurs.
In 2011, Sen. Davis passed SB 1636, legislation to begin the process to clear the more than 23,000 untested rape kits on backlog statewide. She is currently seeking funding for local law enforcement to begin clearing their rape kit backlogs. Last month, Davis received the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault's Champion for Social Change Award for her work on behalf of victims of sexual assault and violent crime.