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Strengthening the 'Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights'

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.

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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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