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.
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