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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Conference

Date: March 13 PDT Location: Irving, Texas

Irving, Texas

On Thursday, March 13th, NCVLI will present “Rape Shield: Holes in the Armor” at the 32nd annual conference of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) Irving, Texas.

The workshop will briefly outline the history of rape shield before providing a snapshot of some of the most troublesome issues seen in rape shield litigation today. Well into the 1970s, it was a legal truism in this country that victims of sexual assault who had been sexually active before the assault were essentially un-rapeable. Their chastity, or lack thereof, was seen as legal evidence that they had consented to the assault, and that they were not credible. With the 1970s came the rape shield movement, which called these prejudices into question. In the next decades, every state had rape shield legislation on the books, reflecting the truth that victims’ sexual history is irrelevant to their status as a victim of sexual assault. But, forty years later, how successful has rape shield legislation been?

This session will also arm the practitioner with practical tips about how victims’ rights provisions can be leveraged to allow victim participation in rape shield proceedings and create avenues for appellate review.