Megan Rondini Act aims to better treatment of rape survivors

Texas

A Texas congressman wants every hospital to have someone on staff trained in handling sexual assault.

Republican Ted Poe introduced the Megan Rondini Act. It’s named after a woman from Austin who killed herself after being turned away by authorities for reporting a rape.

Poe told Megan’s story while fighting back tears Thursday; she went off to Alabama for school. During her freshman year, she was raped by a former student.

“She went to the Sheriff’s department to report this crime. The sheriff’s department treated her like she was the criminal,” Poe said. “She went to the hospital and the hospital really botched up the sexual assault examination.”

That’s why her father says the 20-year-old committed suicide.

“We hope that there isn’t another Megan. That there isn’t anyone that is mistreated in that regard,” Mike Rondini said.

Poe’s bill requires hospitals to have sexual assault forensic examiners available at all times or have a system for getting victims to nearby hospitals with examiners on staff.

“And, so they don’t come into contact with a counselor that says ‘sorry we can’t help’,” Poe explained.

“That’s the kind of thing that if you asked Megan what she would have wanted, it would have been that,” Mike Rondini said. 

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