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Florida lawmakers look to pass bills to help survivors of sexual assault

The bi-partisan bills would establish sexual assault response team protocols, trauma-informed training for law enforcement, and survivor’s rights.
Credit: File photo

Florida lawmakers are reaching across the aisles and introducing bills aimed at helping people who have been sexually assaulted.

The bi-partisan anti-sexual assault bills by Sen. Lauren Book (D - Plantation) and Reps. Randy Fine (R - Palm Bay) and Tracie Davis (D - Jacksonville) would establish sexual assault response team protocols, trauma-informed training for law enforcement, and survivor’s rights. These bills come with the lawmakers’ collaboration with RAINN and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.

According to a release, the bills would put in place a trauma-informed approach to survivor interviewing to help build their confidence in the justice system. The bills also aim to help law enforcement communicate with survivors so they can better investigate cases of sexual assault.

According to a release from lawmakers, in Florida during 2019, 11,730 total forcible sex offenses were reported under the FBI Uniform CrimeReport. Nationally, only one out of every four sexual assaults is reported to law enforcement. 

While many law enforcement agencies in the state do have Sexual Assault Response Teams that help first responders work with those who have been abused, this legislation would make sure all of Florida's 67 counties have teams. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, you are not alone. Call the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence’s (FCASV) toll-free hotline at 1-888-956-7273 or visit FCASV’s website  

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