FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2021


Missouri task force to conduct final public hearing online on Sept. 28 to get input on rights of victims of sexual assault; public survey closes Sept. 30

Public hearing focused on evidence collection to support sexual assault victims and investigations will be held Sept. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The state task force reviewing the treatment and support of sexual assault victims in Missouri will conduct its fourth and final public hearing on Tuesday Sept. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. The Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force invites members of the public to listen to the hearing, which will be conducted online. The hearing will focus on evidence collection recommendations to support and protect sexual assault survivors.

Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force Public Hearing
Sept. 28, 2021, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Topic: Evidence Collection
Join the WebEx online meeting by computer:
https://stateofmo.webex.com/stateofmo/j.php?MTID=mdf09387801f3448783569e2e562219c5
Join by phone: Dial 1-650-479-3207
Meeting number/access code: 177 703 0850
Meeting password: 7PApb3GJZA3

PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
1:00 – 1:15 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions
1:15 – 1:20 p.m. – Administrative Matters, Sarah Ehrhard Reid, Department of Health and Senior Services

1:20 – 2:45 p.m. – Public Testimony
1:20 – 1:35 p.m. – Vanessa Holt 
1:35 – 1:45 p.m. – Audrey McCormick, Jackson County Prosecutor's Office
1:45 – 1:55 p.m. – Dan Patterson, Greene County Prosecutor
1:55 – 2:05 p.m. – Emily Warren, Kansas City Crime Lab
2:05 – 2:15 p.m. – Mark Webb, Bolivar Police Department
2:15 – 2:25 p.m. – Kelly Lenhart, Barnes Hospital
2:25 – 2:35 p.m. – Lana Garcia, Cox Health
2:35 – 2:45 p.m. – Sarah Cirese-Payton, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project

2:40 – 3:00 p.m. – Final Questions and Closing

3:00 p.m. – Adjournment

The task force is also seeking comments and suggestions from the public on how to strengthen protections and services for Missouri sexual assault victims. Comments and suggestions are being gathered through an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MORightsTaskForce. The survey closes Thursday Sept. 30, 2021.

The Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force was created through Senate Bill 569, which was signed into law by Governor Mike Parson in July 2020. In addition to including the “Justice for Survivors Act” and the “Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights,” it mandated establishment of the task force, which must “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 also requires the task force to study nationally recognized best practices and make recommendations regarding the development and implementation of a method for tracking and investigating complaints about the handling of sexual assault investigations and reporting, and the development of documentation to be provided to sexual assault survivors informing them of their rights. It also directs the task force to determine when there is a need for additional employees or volunteers at rape crisis centers, determine the costs of meeting the potential need and methods for meeting the need.

The task force is required to submit a report on its findings, including any majority and dissenting opinions to the Governor and General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2021. Recordings of the task force’s previous public hearings and other information about its work is available here: https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvsu/task-force.php.

The Department of Public Safety is tasked with providing administrative support to the task force.

 



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For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov