Currently, in Florida, there are no safety measures to protect a victim from vengeful violence by her/his attacker after reporting a sex crime committed against her/him. Many victims are afraid of retribution when an investigation is opened and her rapist is contacted by police, but have no idea how to file protective orders or where to go for help.
With the outrageous backlog of rape kit testing, sometimes years pass before an arrest can be made. This window of time can be dangerous for the victim.
Following a traumatic sex crime, a woman should be protected from further harassment, violence, and contact by her attacker. A restraining order is a formal, legal document which stipulates that the attacker cannot contact or stalk his victim. If the accused attacker attempts contact, he is in violation of the law, and can be arrested and jailed for that offense, while the rape is still under investigation.
Initiating such a law would protect victims, and be of no consequence to the accused, if he did not attempt to cause further harm to his victim. There is no legitimate reason for a rapist to see, converse with, or otherwise harass a victim. Several other states, such as Virginia, offer this immediate protection for sexual assault victims.
Please tell our Florida lawmakers that we want victims of sex crimes to be protected from their perpetrators during due process of the law. Restraining orders should be issued IMMEDIATELY when a rape is reported.
Under current Florida law, there is no protection for a rape victim from her/his attacker until an arrest is made. As you may already be aware, the FDLE has a backlog of untested rape-kits. Without this key evidence, rapists continue to roam in our communities. Sometimes years pass before a case is actually made. Fear of retribution prevents scores of victims from ever reporting. Those who are brave enough to relive the trauma by telling and recalling details of the crime should be offered IMMEDIATE AND AUTOMATIC protection from further abuse by their attackers.
Will you please protect victims of sex crimes by initiating a law to issue immediate and automatic injunction orders of protection from alleged attackers? Such a law would not impede the due process of law. It would protect victims from harassment, stalking and intimidation, and be of no consequence to the alleged attacker unless he attempted to cause harm once again to the victim.
Victims of sexual violence should not live in fear. Recovery from rape is difficult enough without the threat of repeat violence. Immediate issue of restraining orders would allow law enforcement officers to jail offenders who initiate contact with their victims after a rape is reported. Victim stalking, harassment and intimidation could be prevented. Such an action would allow victims some degree of safety and more trust in law enforcement, thus encouraging the reporting of sex crimes.
There is no legitimate reason for a perpetrator to stalk, converse with, or harass a victim. Please protect victims of sex crimes from repeat violence by enacting the immediate issue of injunction orders of protection as soon as rape is reported.
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