BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Advocates for sexual abuse survivors shared what their priorities are heading into the next legislative session. Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response, or STAR, says they will be taking a slightly different route in advocating for survivors in this session.
Since it is a fiscal session that limits non-revenue bills, STAR will be supporting fixing other issues that could lead to abusive situations such as housing, childcare and equal pay.
“What does prevent sexual assault, what the CDC has posted in their Stop Sexual Violence technical package, is that access to paid family leave, access to pay equity,” said STAR CEO Morgan Lamandre. “A lot of these other social justice issues that you see happening, quality child care, access, these are all things that that in the grand scheme of things help to prevent sexual assault.”
They also believe education for children is an important focus.
“The things that we truly believe prevent sexual abuse is protective factors put in place teaching kids about their bodies. Teaching kids about consent. You know, good touch, bad touch. It seems very simple,” Lamandre said. “But trying to get legislation passed that would allow those concepts to be taught over the years, you know, is fairly difficult.”
STAR supports survivors of abuse in any way they believe is best for them whether that is looking for legal action or not reporting the abuse. They will also be considering supporting exceptions to the abortion ban.
“In general for us, our mission is to support survivors. And so for us, that is something that we will be looking into supporting,” Lamandre said.
The regular session begins on April 10, and bills are still being filed by lawmakers as they decide their priorities for the year.