House Committee Passes Bill to Promote Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights
A bill that aims to promote sexual assault survivors’ rights and improve evidence collection and processing unanimously passed a Missouri House committee Wednesday.
The House Children and Families Committee voted 13-0 in favor of SB 569, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester. The bill has already made it through the Senate, where Koenig’s original text was combined with two other bills.
It would give survivors access to a tracking system for sexual assault evidence, require all hospitals to offer forensic examinations and create a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.
The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Missouri Hospital Association and the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that works against sexual assault and domestic violence, provided written testimony in support of the bill, with some caveats.
Under the bill, all licensed hospitals would have to offer forensic exams for sexual assault survivors by Jan. 1, 2023, whether through employing a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or qualified physician, or by using telehealth to allow a SANE to remotely direct exams.