A statewide task force has delivered a 37-page report to Gov. Mike Parson recommending changes to help sexual violence survivors.

Senate Bill 569, signed into law in 2020, required the creation of a 13-member panel. The task force is made up of members of the state Legislature, law enforcement, health care, and child welfare communities.

Missouri Capitol (By Alisa Nelson)

Members are responsible for several items, including finding ways to improve services for survivors and to better respond to these cases; decide if there is a greater funding need; determine whether additional rape crisis center workers and volunteers are necessary; and collect feedback from stakeholders, practitioners, law enforcement, victim services, and healthcare communities.

The task force held virtual listening sessions earlier this year to help craft recommendations. It also developed a survey for the public to answer questions and give feedback.

The panel’s key recommendations include:

*Promote healing for survivors by improving a survivor’s experience through the system response.

*Reduce the number of survivor unmet requests for services from rape crisis centers and increase community awareness of available resources.

*Ensure that survivors throughout the state have access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), and that survivors are able to obtain a medical forensic exam, along with diagnostic testing, treatment, and prophylactic needs, arising from the sexual assault, and at no cost to the survivor.

*Increase salary and funding to reduce crime lab backlogs to affect more timely processing of a kit after its delivery.

*Pass an enhanced Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights to ensure awareness of survivors’ rights and to guide practitioners in honoring those rights on an individual, local, and statewide basis.

*Increase trauma-informed practices and outreach to underserved populations.

*Modify statutes to further protect survivor privacy in public or court records.

*Review Section 595.220 RSMo and make recommendations for legislative enhancements.

*Stakeholders continue working together to implement these recommendations.

To view the report, click here.

Earlier story:

Missouri task force works to improve services for sexual assault survivors https://www.missourinet.com/2021/08/31/missouri-task-force-works-to-improve-services-for-sexual-assault-survivors/

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