Austin, TX (STL.News) The Office of the Governor’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force (SASTF) today issued its first Biennial Report to the Texas Legislature. The report includes policy recommendations for the 87th Legislative Session and summarizes activities conducted since the task force held its inaugural meeting on February 6th — including the creation of over 150 recommendations relating to the review of state policies, protocols, and best practices for the collection, preservation, tracking, analysis, and destruction of evidence in sexual assault cases. Recommendations were made to the Texas Evidence Collection Advisory Board, the Texas Office of the Attorney General, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab Service Manual Committee. In alignment with the SASTF’s mission, all recommendations seek to establish a more survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach to Texas’ response to sexual violence.
“Texas continues to make great strides in the fight against sexual violence, and the 86th Legislative Session was one of the most significant in history for addressing the atrocity of sexual assault,” said Governor Abbott. “The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force is a crucial component of our enduring goal to raise awareness, combat this heinous crime, and secure justice for survivors. Together, we will continue to develop methods of prevention, support these courageous survivors, and ensure a brighter future for all Texans.”
Created by the unanimous passage of House Bill 1590 during the 86th Legislative Session, the SASTF is housed in the Office of the Governor’s Public Safety Office and seeks to establish a survivor-centered, trauma-informed, collaborative and coordinated response to sexual violence experienced by adults and children in Texas. The work of the SASTF is divided into five focus areas: forensic exams and evidence kits, policies and best practices for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault; training and resources for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges; improvements to the collection and reporting of data related to sexual assault; and a statewide inventory of resources for survivors.
NOTE: this is NOT the complete release.