Your Comments are Essential to the Task Force’s Mission

Because public input is essential to the task force’s work, it is seeking public comments through an online survey, which is available here. This is an opportunity for anyone in Missouri, and particularly those who have been victims of sexual assault or impacted by it, to share information about their treatment by the criminal justice system or any agency involved in the response. The survey closes Sept. 30, 2021.

Senate Bill 569 directs the task force to collect feedback from stakeholders, practitioners, and leadership throughout the state and local law enforcement, victim services, forensic science practitioners, and health care communities to inform development of future best practices or clinical guidelines regarding the care and treatment of survivors.

There will also be four public hearings during which all stakeholders and members of the public can share their comments. Each of the four individual listening sessions will deal with a specific topic related to the experiences of sexual assault victims. The public hearings will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 25 (Funding); Sept. 14 (Standards and Practices): Sept. 22 (Survivor Privacy); and Sept. 28 (Evidence Collection). Information will be provided on this website about how to listen to the sessions once it becomes available.

Public Meeting Notice

On July 13, 2020, Governor Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 569, legislation designed to strengthen the rights and protections provided to victims of sexual offenses in Missouri. SB 569 included the “Justice for Survivors Act” and the “Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.” It also established the Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force (595.202) to make recommendations regarding:

  1. The development and implementation of an effective mechanism for submitting, tracking, and investigating complaints regarding the handling of, or response to, a sexual assault report or investigation by any agency or organization involved in the response;
  2. The development of documentation for medical providers and law enforcement officers, in conjunction with the department of public safety, to provide to survivors informing them of their rights pursuant to section 595.201 of Revised Missouri Statutes;
  3. Whether a need exists for additional employees or volunteers of a rape crisis center for victims of sexual assault, and if such a need does exist, the task force shall:
    1. Create a plan for how the state can provide, in conjunction with rape crisis centers, victims' advocates organizations, and the Department of Health and Senior Services, additional employees or volunteers of a rape crisis center to meet the needs identified; and
    2. Determine the cost of funding such a plan;
  4. Whether a need exists to expand the right to an employee or volunteer of a rape crisis center beyond the medical examination and law enforcement interview settings, and if such a need does exist, the task force shall:
    1. Identify the scope and nature of the need; and
    2. Make recommendations on how best to fill that need, whether legislatively or otherwise;
  5. Whether a need exists to provide for ongoing evaluation of the implementation of these rights, and if such a need does exist, the task force shall:
    1. Identify the scope and nature of the need; and
    2. Make recommendations on how best to fill that need, whether legislatively or otherwise.

The task force shall also:

  • Collect data regarding sexual assault reporting, arrests, prosecution rates, access to sexual assault victims services, and any other data important for its deliberations and recommendations; and
  • Collect feedback from stakeholders, practitioners, and leadership throughout the state and local law enforcement, victim services, forensic science practitioners, and health care communities to inform development of future best practices or clinical guidelines regarding the care and treatment of survivors.

SB 569 directed the task force to submit a report on its finding to the Governor and General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2021, including any dissenting opinions in addition to any majority opinions. It also directed the Department of Public Safety to provide administrative support to the task force.