Texas Governor Greg Abbott has over 5,000 untested rape kits in the state as he works to “eliminate rape criminals” – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Austin (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — Texas’s new abortion law, which bans abortions in about six weeks, defends women’s rights for a variety of reasons, not just because rape and incest are no exception.

When asked why victims of rape and incest were not exempt from the new law, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state would work harder to fight crime. “Texas will make a tireless effort to eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out, arresting, prosecuting and driving them out of the streets,” Abbott said last week. Stated.

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Proponents now see how Texas achieves its feat, especially if more than 5,000 rape kits haven’t been tested yet and are suffering on shelves around the state. I’m asking if. And when did the state experience as many as 18,000 rapes a year?

“It would be beautiful to see, but it wouldn’t happen,” said Lavinia Masters, a survivor of rape and a defender of other survivors, about Abbott’s promise. “It’s not realistic.”

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) statistics, as of August 2021, it included 1,716 kits in the DPS Criminology Institute system and 3,582 unsubmitted kits remaining in state-wide law enforcement agencies. There were 5,298 untested sexual assault kits.

And it doesn’t count kits that may not have been tested by 231 law enforcement agencies that did not respond to state audits, although required by law.

The Masters were 13 years old when they broke into Dallas’ house and were raped by someone with a knife in their throat. Her rape kit had been on the shelves for over 20 years before being tested.

Her rapist, finally identified by Kit’s evidence, was already in jail, continuing to rape the other two women. In her case, the statute of limitations had expired.

The bill signed in 2019 aimed at auditing untested rape kits across the state and setting strict testing requirements was named the Lavinia Masters Act. The Masters were there when he signed the bill, and she is a member of Abbott’s sexual assault survivor task force.

Texas Congressman Victoria Nieve (D-Dallas) has been working with the Master for years to clear the rape kit backlog. At some point, there were about 19,000 untested kits.

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“Each box isn’t just the box on the shelves. It tells the story of the survivor. It tells the individuals and families affected by it,” Neve said. “It represents a woman waiting for justice.”

The state has prioritized rape kits, Neve said, and approved $ 50 million to help test the kits, but she said part of the problem was the lack of forensic investigators to handle them. Stated.

The Masters said she was still angry when she thought about her case. “I know you didn’t care about me and what happened to me,” she said of the official. “So you just shelved me, and I know that’s part of my passion and why I’m so angry with this.”

The new Texas law, which bans abortions after six weeks, even in the case of rape and incest, beyond the unprocessed portion, infuriates the Master. She said she knew she wouldn’t have been in time to end her pregnancy if she had been pregnant with the rape.

She would have had to carry a 13-year-old rapist child to give birth.

“I will be forced to carry the baby,” said the Masters. “That is not common sense either.”

Neve voted against the new law. She said it would lead women to try dangerous abortions again without medical help.

“The law is pushing us back,” she said. “And the fear and concern we have is that if we can’t get the doctor to do the procedure, we’ll have the woman do it in the garage or go back to the hangers era. It’s a concern. “

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN Wire ™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has over 5,000 untested rape kits in the state as he works to “eliminate rape criminals” – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Source link Texas Governor Greg Abbott has over 5,000 untested rape kits in the state as he works to “eliminate rape criminals” – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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