Legislature approves sexual assault protections

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Associated Press

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 5:04 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry will consider new measures to protect victims of sexual assault.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Senate approved a bill that would give victims the right to track physical evidence collected in a rape kit. It has already passed the House.

Another bill approved by both chambers requires hospitals to assemble rape kits or provide transfer to a different hospital.

Lawmakers heard testimony from a woman whose attacker escaped charges after she was unable to find a hospital willing to gather the evidence.

Recent versions of the state's proposed budget also include $11 million to clear a backlog of more than 22,000 untested evidence kits.

Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth has said her proposals would ensure victims are "made partners in the pursuit of justice."

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