87th Texas Legislature

State Rep. Neave Files 9 Bills That Would Help Victims of Sexual Assault, Harassment

The bills make up the sexual assault legislative package

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State Rep. Victoria Neave says her work is not done when it comes to aiding victims of sexual assault.

“We’ve got to continue to address these issues,” Neave (D-Dallas) said.

During the 2019 legislative session, she spearheaded the Lavinia Masters Act, named for a woman whose rape kit sat untested for more than 20 years. The law added money for staffing and testing. Kits now must be submitted in 90 days.

This session, Neave is proposing nine bills in the sexual assault legislative package.

“We saw during the pandemic that domestic violence reports were significantly increased in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and all over Texas,” Neave said.

One proposal gives more Texans legal options to get protective orders. In addition, it makes it easier for human trafficking victims to obtain protective orders.

Another bill focuses on helping victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. It would extend the statute of limitations from six months to nearly a year to report an incident.

The legislation is based on recommendations from the governor's sexual assault survivor's task force.

"In the last couple of years with #MeToo and all of this coming out I think that our lawmakers are really understanding how incredibly common sexual assault is and moving to make sure that our system's responses adequately address what a serious crime this is,” said Katherine Strandberg, senior policy advisor with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

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