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Strengthening the 'Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights'

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The Missouri Senate passed a bill that would prevent a sexual assault survivors' previous sexual history or experiences from being used during a trial. Missouri Sen. Holly Rehder says her proposal is intended to stop the "slut shaming" of survivors in court.

Thousands of people in Missouris experience sexual assault and rape every year. For many, the trauma of the assault itself is only the beginning of the nightmare — in many cases, their own lives become the subject of scrutiny in the process of seeking justice for their assailants.

Senate Bill 775, which passed the Missouri Senate last week, seeks to prevent a victim’s prior sexual history and conduct from being used at trial. The so-called "Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights" now goes to the Missouri House for consideration.

"There is nothing that can justify someone sexually assaulting you, so why have that even as part of the questioning?" says Missouri Sen. Holly Rehder, who sponsored the bill. "That is only to harm the victim, the survivor. There is no other reason."

KCUR's Brian Ellison spoke with Rehder on Up To Date about where the legislation stands after the addition of a controversial amendment that prohibits school employees from providing sexually explicit material to a student.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love with Trevor Grandin and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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