|Posted on March 6, 2011 at 11:48 AM|
We need your VOICE!! Please contact your legislators and in particular, Senate leadership, to support our legislation with HB 251/SB 488. This template email is for Senate President Mike Haridopolos--whose support we desperately need. Please feel free to use it for any and all legislators to contact, and also to personalize it as you see fit. just make sure to edit names and the proper house (House Representative vs. Senator, etc.) In the House, we will be moving next to the Appropriations Committee, Chair Denise Grimsley, find her contact info at www.myfloridahouse.gov, and in the Senate we need to get into the Criminal Justice Committee, Chair Greg Evers, www.flsenate.gov. on't forget to write the legislators in both houses of your own district too!
Thank you for your VOICE!!
Dear Senate President Mike Haridopolos,
I am writing to support SB 488 by Fasano/ HB 251 by Dorworth, and urge you to support its passage through the Senate as well. This legislation is hugely important for the rights of victims of sexual crimes and public safety, and it addresses the needs echoed by survivors, advocate, and prosecutors. It includes provisions to:
1) Enhance the Rape Crisis Program, which is essential to provide much needed services for survivors of sexual violence. These programs are currently underfunded and overwhelmed.
2) Admit evidence of prior sex crimes in adult cases, as it is already done in child cases.
3) Collection of evidence from broader group of victims, ensuring emergency facilities are equipped to collect forensic evidence. This utilizes the small window available for the collection of evidence, as many victims initially are unsure about reporting to law enforcement.
4) Relocation assistance for safety purposes to victims of a sexual crime, with a certification of need from a rape crisis center.
5) Correct statute of limitations for video voyeurism, as this evidence often does not surface for long periods of time. This would allow a 1 year window for prosecution beginning once the evidence is found.
6) Limit defendant’s access to child pornography. This evidence is very sensitive and retraumatizing to victims and view of it should be limited to as few people and it should be securely held.
7) Include internet safety in comprehensive public school education.
8 ) Quickly test offenders for HIV, within 48 hours of the indictment or information filed, rather than within 48 hours of the court order.
A law enforcement officer responding to a sexual battery is required to:
1) Provide, or arrange for, transportation to the proper rape crisis facility.
2) Allow a 72 hour window within which a victim may amend/add to the initial report.
3) Obtain a signed statement from the victim acknowledging the accuracy of the report.
Please do not let the voices of so many rape survivors go unheard. Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Show these women—our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives---that Florida does not tolerate these crimes in our communities and is committed to greater apprehension and conviction of these criminals.