START TYPING AND PRESS ENTER TO SEARCH

Personal Tragedy Drives Support for House Bill 1085

Representative Rhonda Fields is sponsoring a bill which will help to prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault on developmentally disabled individuals. The bill (House Bill 1085) has passed Third Reading in the House and is now being introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The statistics are dramatic. They reveal that 80% of the developmentally disabled population is victimized by sexual assault. Of these, only 1% are prosecuted.

Catherine Strode, Coordinator of the Health Care Advocacy Program, asked Representative Fields how her bill will affect the well-being of this population and what drove her to sponsor the bill. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Representative Fields.

How does HB 1085 affect the well-being of this particular population?

“It will give equal access to our justice system. Right now a developmentally disabled person who’s been sexually assaulted often doesn’t know to call 9ll. Most of the time these people are taken care of by someone else – a guardian, and so when they do tell someone that they have been harmed, typically it’s not going to be to the police right away. It’s just not in their mindset to do that. They’re going to tell someone else about that crime. And right now – when they tell someone, that information, that statement is not permissible in a court of law. So basically, what 1085 will do, it will allow the opportunity for those statements they made in a safe environment, to someone they trust, to be considered. Then the judge still has to determine if it has reliability and merit. So it’s not automatic. It still has to go through a variety of different channels. But prior to this bill there wasn’t any access for those statements to be entered into a courtroom setting. And so because of that, that gives validation to this community that if you are harmed, there’s an opportunity now that the statements that you share with someone else may be considered.”

I’ve listened to your arguments on the floor and you are quite passionate. I wanted to know what it is about this issue that stirs your own personal passions?

“My son was murdered and I was his only voice and presence in the courtroom. He was silent because he was dead. And he was murdered because he was going to be a witness in a trial. So I had to bring voice to his testimony because he was no longer with us. And so that reminded me of this population. This same population doesn’t have a voice, they don’t have an advocate. And so I was glad to be their advocate, so they could have greater access to justice because when someone does something wrong, they should be held accountable for it. And if these people are revictimized over and over again because they don’t have a voice – then something needs to be done to correct that injustice.”

17 Comments

  1. mowili

    I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else encountering
    problems with your blog. It seems like some of the
    text in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please
    comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?

    This could be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Thanks

  2. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of
    text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it
    out better?

    Feel free to surf to my web page … Viagra Ohen Rezept

  3. Animals playing with objects, animals playing with children or each other and animals dressed in clothing items can all make for original, humorous digital images that will
    brighten anyone’s day. You will want to consider the style of your doors to find out which companies carry
    them. Your local DIY store will probably be able to provide a range of budget doors
    but if you require a good quality door then a professional garage door retailler will provide the best service.

    my homepage garage doors orange county

  4. When getting estimates to replace your garage door make sure you
    request a locally manufactured product. For instance, some
    of the doors will open by rolling up, while others will swing open like a door.

    Use a level to trace the location where the new header will go and across the middle section of framing.

    Also visit my homepage; raynor garage door openers, Mittie,

  5. When getting estimates to replace your garage door make sure you request a locally manufactured product.
    The handle that you select for the door and the insulation
    will all also contribute to the overall cost. In this
    article we are mentioning some of the prominent method that
    will eventually assist the person in decorating their Garage Doors
    in appealing and remarkable approach.

    Also visit my website; garage doors lowes

  6. These are stronger when compared to other kinds of doors and can therefore
    withstand forces. The handle that you select for the door and the insulation will all also
    contribute to the overall cost. In this article we are mentioning some of
    the prominent method that will eventually assist the person in decorating their Garage Doors in
    appealing and remarkable approach.

    Also visit my weblog; liftmaster garage door opener Price

  7. Over the past many years, garage doors and repairs have
    become quite essential part of every family in Las Vegas.
    For instance, some of the doors will open by rolling up,
    while others will swing open like a door. Both of these types can adjust in even the smallest
    of space and they do not require any extra space for opening and closing.

    my page :: decorative garage doors (http://www.hg89876.com/how-to-find-dependable-garage-doors-for-melbourne)

  8. charter flight cost

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality
    articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled
    upon this site. Reading this info So i’m satisfied to exhibit that I have a very good uncanny
    feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much surely will make certain to do not disregard this site
    and provides it a glance regularly.

    Look into my homepage; charter flight cost

  9. german to english translation services

    Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.

    I would be awesome if you could point me in
    the direction of a good platform.

  10. transcribe it

    Hello very nice web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..
    I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally?

    I am satisfied to find so many helpful info right here in the
    submit, we need work out more techniques on this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  11. legal transcript services

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Many thanks

  12. transcribing program

    I’m now not certain the place you are getting your information, however great topic.
    I needs to spend some time finding out more or
    working out more. Thanks for excellent information I used to be in search
    of this info for my mission.

  13. Wonderful blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..

    Any tips? Many thanks!

Comments are closed.