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Missouri bill would make sexual history of sexual assault victims inadmissible in court

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Tim Bommel
/
Missouri House Communications
Missouri State Sen. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) is co-sponsoring SB 775 with State Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur).

The Missouri senate bill, introduced by Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder (R-Sikeston), aims to strengthen and broaden existing rape shield legislation.

For many sexual assault survivors, the assault itself may only the beginning of the trauma. In some cases, victim's lives and sexual histories have become the subject of scrutiny during the criminal justice process.

Legislation currently under consideration in the Missouri Senate would address this issue by making sure that all questioning of survivors did not include these discussions.

Republican State Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder is one of the co-sponsors of the bill. She says those lines of questioning can emotionally harm victims while not providing any information pertaining to the case.

"There is nothing that can justify someone attacking you, someone sexually assaulting you," says the state Senator. "So, why have that even as part of the questioning? That is only to harm the victim — the survivor."

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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.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
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