FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2021


Missouri task force to conduct public hearing online on Wednesday to get input on rights of victims of sexual assault

Public hearing focused on funding to support sexual assault victims and investigations will be held Aug. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The state task force reviewing the treatment and support of sexual assault victims in Missouri will conduct its first public hearing on Wednesday Aug. 25 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 funding recommendations to support sexual assault victims and conduct investigations.

Missouri Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force Public Hearing
Aug. 25, 2021, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Topic: Funding
Join the WebEx online meeting by computer:
https://stateofmo.webex.com/stateofmo/j.php?MTID=m7a4f7267175f21b5fd2e106aa3cf8627
Join by phone: Dial 1-650-479-3207

Meeting Number: 177 623 0783
Meeting Password: MNePxDkJ456  

PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA

1:00 – 1:15 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions, Senator Jill Schupp, State Senator, District 24

1:15 – 1:20 p.m. – Administrative Matters, Sarah Ehrhard Reid, Department of Health and Senior Services

1:20 – 2:50 p.m. – Public Testimony

1:20 – 1:35 p.m. – Jennifer Carter Dochler, Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

1:35 – 1:50 p.m. – Janelle Vestal, Green Hills Women’s Shelter

1:50 – 2:05 p.m. – Bryan Hampton, St. Charles County Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory

2:05 – 2:20 p.m. – Andy Wheeler, Missouri Hospital Association

2:20 – 2:35 p.m. – Dawn Day, Mercy Hospital

2:35 – 2:50 p.m. – Victoria Pickering, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault

2:50 – 3:00 p.m. – Final Questions and Closing

3:00 p.m. – Adjournment

This is the first of four public hearings the task force has scheduled. Each of the remaining hearings will also focus on a specific topic and be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 14 (Standards and Practices; Sept. 22 (Survivor Privacy); and Sept. 28 (Evidence Collection). Information will be provided with details on how to listen to the sessions once it becomes available at https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvsu/task-force.php

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 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. 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