TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — To honor survivors of sexual assault, officials are seeking an artist to create a piece that will be displayed in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, a press release from the county said.
This initiative is a part of a series of significant reforms Travis County vowed to make last year following a lawsuit in order to improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors within the criminal justice community.
In 2018, three women filed a suit against the Travis County District Attorney’s office and the Austin Police Department for the way the entities handled their sexual assault filings. To bolster their case, 11 others survivors joined the case throughout the duration of the proceedings.
The lawsuit alleged that APD’s Sex Crimes unit was understaffed, the investigations were not thorough and there was an atmosphere in the organization where women’s stories of sexual assault were mistrusted.
A few years later in June 2021, Travis County settled. At the time, Travis County said it would make big changes to how sexual assault cases were handled, and distributed $580,000 to the women involved in the lawsuit.
One of the conditions of the settlement was to create a space to honor the plaintiffs and other sexual assault survivors within the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. This is where the art piece will be shown once it is completed.
“As part of the settlement, we agreed to make significant changes to how our office handles sexual assault cases to ensure that victims are heard, treated with dignity and respect, and receive the justice they deserve,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza. “We are committed to supporting the creation of an art piece that will represent the courage and determination of sexual assault victims who fought for those reforms.”
Interested artists can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the Travis County Solicitation page.