What Wendy Davis' Latest Cause Could Mean for Women
You may know Wendy Davis as the Texas politician who held firm on an 11-hour-long filibuster last summer to block a bill that would restrict abortion access in her state. Or you might remember that she’s currently campaigning for governor in Texas, hoping to succeed the recently indicted Rick Perry. Now, you can get to know her in another capacity: As the woman pushing to end the statute of limitations on all sexual assault in her state.
Removing a legal boundary in the time that a victim could press charges about a sexual assault is a big deal, because it means that the courts could elevate the seriousness of the crime.
Davis proposed the abolition of the statute on Wednesday at a press conference, pointing to an ongoing issue with the backlog of rape kits in Texas. In some cases, victims could no longer pursue justice thanks to the deadline on their case expiring.
Today, the gubernatorial candidate, pushed for the cause in a string tweets to her 173,000 followers.
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) August 21, 2014
Back in 2011, Davis authored a bill that pushed for state law enforcement to prioritize testing rape kits so victims could seek justice before the statute of limitations—10 years in Texas—ran out. Now she’s pushing to end those limitations entirely, because not enough is being done to protect those victims.
“While the bills I authored are helping to address the backlog of rape kits, the fact that we would throw survivors’ trauma and courage on a shelf for months or years without a second thought is offensive to them and to everything we say we stand for,” Davis said, according to The Houston Chronicle. “But then to turn around and make survivors pay the price for our failure and neglect by denying them justice is almost criminal in itself.”