Legal Lens: Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri General Assembly established a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights in 2020 to codify the rights of survivors before, during, and after interviews with attorneys and law enforcement, as well as medical examinations. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains further in this week’s Legal Lens.

McNairy says there are specific types of rights a person has.

“Some of the important key points are in the new legislation is if you have an exam, you have the right to have the exam paid for by the Department of Public Safety,” she said. “You have the right to have a person of your choosing in the exam and in the interview and you have the right to know the results of any test for any forensic examination that has been done.

“And you have the right to know the disposition of the defendant; if he has been incarcerated or let out or on probation, you have a right to know information now.”

Why is this important to know now?

“Right now, even though this already went into effect, the legislature is still looking for input on ways to improve these issues and rights,” McNairy said. “So, the task force is seeking input from experts and the public about reporting sexual assault, protecting survivors, and developing documentation to inform victims of their rights. So, there is a commentary portion that’s open right now on (the Department of Public Safety website) where you can fill out that survey during the commentary period.”

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