AUSTIN— Legislation by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, strengthening resources for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is on its way to the Governor's desk.   

Sexual Assault Response Teams
: SB 476 directs the establishment of Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs), multi-disciplinary teams that collaborate on sexual assault cases. "When sexual assault occurs, we need to bring all resources to bear. This bill will ensure that law enforcement coordinates with social workers, counselors and other professionals to meet the holistic needs of sexual assault victims." In addition, SB 1, the appropriations act authored by Senator Nelson, provides $29.6 million  for rape crisis centers — an increase of $4.7 million over the current budget.

Document Access for Domestic Violence
: SB 798 makes it easier for survivors of domestic violence to obtain a new copy of their birth certificate and a state ID at no cost by amending the Health and Safety Code as well as the Transportation Code. "Survivors of domestic violence may not have time to grab personal identification documents when fleeing dangerous living situations. SB 798 supports survivors by making it easier to obtain the appropriate documents — at no cost — so they can focus on healing and moving forward with a fresh start."  SB 1 includes $78.3 million for domestic violence shelters, an increase of $13 million over the current budget.

Sexual Assault Survivors' Task Force
: HB 2706 increases access to resources for survivors of sexual assault. Enacting recommendations made by the Sexual Assault Survivors' Task Force, the bill expands access to forensic medical exams and clarifies the reimbursement process. It further codifies the state's commitment to survivors by removing the word "alleged" when referencing a sexual assault or other sex offense within state statute. "Texas stands with survivors of sexual assault," Senator Nelson said." Expanding access to Sexual Assault Forensic Exams will help deliver justice to survivors across our state."

 

SENATOR JANENELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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