FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2019
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GUILLEN SEEKS TO STRENGTHEN SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION PROTOCOL
AUSTIN - As an author of HB 401 and HB 1432, State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) is working to strengthen Texas' sexual assault investigation protocol and better support survivors.
"The traumatic experience of sexual assault is stressful enough to endure on its own and the majority of incidents aren't even reported to authorities because the thought of reliving the incident is too painful for many," Guillen remarked. "Survivors who bravely come forward hoping to seek justice on their attacker deserve to feel supported by their state government throughout the process."
According to data provided by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), 18,750 Texans were reported as victims of sexual assault in 2017. However, nearly half of those cases reported annually are never actually closed and no arrest is made, due to a lack of consistency in proper protocol. In an effort to address this issue, HB 401 calls for the establishment of the Texas Sexual Assault Evidentiary Council by the Attorney General, in order to create a standardized sexual assault kit as well as statewide protocols. As the lead author of HB 1432, Guillen is also working to clarify current code to ensure that healthcare providers are the responsible party in paying for the forensic medical examination of sexual assault victims and not the survivor themselves.
"For the expense of the medical examination to come out of the pocket of the survivor, not only adds financial stress to an already difficult situation, but could also serve as a determining factor in someone's ability or decision to seek justice," said Guillen. "Unfortunately, we cannot possibly protect every Texan from sexual assault, but we do possess the ability to empower and ensure their right to justice," he concluded.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen