House bill to publicly fund rape kits

A bill has passed the Texas House of Representative. It needs Senate and the governor's approval.

BRYAN, Texas - The Sexual Assault Resource Center of the Brazos Valley had their second annual Sexual Assault Kickoff Event Thursday evening. 

This event came just one day after the Texas House gave tentative approval to HB 1729 which would ask drivers renewing their driver's license to donate $1 or more to help test the thousands of rape kits awaiting analysis. 

"There's a number of reasons these kits have been backlogged and by that we mean haven't been tested for their contents and analyzed for their DNA that could be matched with the suspect database," said Sexual Assault Medical Examiner Nancy Downing. 

The purpose of this bill is to bring justice to survivors of sexual assault such as Lydia Wells who recalls the first time she shared her story publicly.

"I told my story in front of about 100 students and faculty members and a whole panel, and it was terrifying but it released and liberated me from this secret I had held on to for so long," said Wells. 

Lydia says she hopes that events like these will bring awareness and allow more legislation such as HB 1729 to be enacted into law. 

Although the Bill has been tentatively approved it will still need the State Senates approval and governor Greg Abbot's signature to become law. 

 

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