Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis announced a plan on Wednesday that would end the statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault.
In the State Senate, Davis has worked to speed up the prosecution of rape cases. Last year, the Department of Safety reported there were 20,000 untested kits, something that has slowed the prosecution of rape and sexual assault in Texas. After ten years, most rape and sexual assault cases cannot be prosecuted.
"...the fact that we would throw survivors’ trauma and courage on a shelf for months or years without a second thought is offensive to them and to everything we say we stand for,” Davis said, speaking outside of the Dallas Criminal Court on Wednesday. "But then to turn around and make survivors pay the price for our failure and neglect by denying them justice is almost criminal in itself,” she continued.
As governor, I'll classify sexual assault at the same level as other heinous crimes such as murder, manslaughter, and human trafficking.— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) August 21, 2014
Davis, who shot to national prominence (and liberal celebrity) last June for her 13-hour filibuster of an anti-abortion bill on the floor of the Texas State Senate, has touted her record on women's rights issues throughout her campaign for governor.
This spring, Davis, who helped to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in the Texas State Senate, condemned her opponent, Texas Attorney General Rick Abbott for saying that he would veto the bill (as Rick Perry did) if he was elected governor.
"We need a governor who will fight for that regardless of someone's gender or their race," Davis told supporters at a campaign rally in Austin in April.
According to an August 8 Rasmussen poll, Davis' strategy to hammer Abbott over his stances on women's issues seems to be working, albeit quite modestly. Davis is up 3 points since March, but still trails the Texas Attorney General by 8. And while Davis has a 12 point lead among women, Abbott leads by 17 among men.
Still, there are no signs the State Senator is pivoting to another campaign strategy.
Last week, Davis released her first television advertisement slamming Abbott for siding against a rape victim in a case while he was on the Texas Supreme Court.