H-E-A-R-T HEART - Hope Exists After Rape Trauma
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There are two bills pending in the state of Virginia that should have all of its citizens concerned. HB 915 proposed by Delegate Sickles (D) and SB 624 proposed by Senator Spruill (D). Both of these bills propose to reduce the “geriatric” age of prisoners in Virginia from age 65 to 55 or even 50. This new definition would allow these prisoners (after serving a limited time) to petition for early release from prison.

Another bill that has been referred to committee would keep the current ages 65, 60 in place, but would change the wording from “may petition release” to “be released”. These prisoners should at the very least go through the normal parole considerations before a decision is made. This bill is HB 431, Del. Scott (D).

The mission of H-E-A-R-T (Hope Exists After Rape Trauma) is to provide HOPE for victims of sexual assault through the provision of essential and therapeutic support, by affecting positive change in laws influencing their lives, and by educating both the public and professionals commissioned to serve victims. A vital issue in this matter involves the use of DNA. To enhance that use, H-E-A-R-T will promote the continued use of DNA, and through educating legislators, law enforcement officials, and others, promote its expanded use and continued improvement.

H-E-A-R-T promotes victim empowerment and encourages the public to have a greater understanding of and respect for sexual assault victims.

Debbie Smith Act

On March 3, 1989, Debbie Smith was kidnapped from her home while her husband, a police officer, was sleeping upstairs. She was dragged into the woods behind her Williamsburg, Virginia home and raped. The rapist threatened Debbie not to tell, and reminded her that he knew where she lived. Bravely, Debbie went forward and told her husband Robert of the assault. The rape was officially reported and she consented to a forensic exam.


For counseling call the National Sexual
Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

Please consider donating to H-E-A-R-T, Inc., a 501(c)(3),  here.

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H-E-A-R-T, Inc.
P. O. Box 1813
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1813
©2013 H-E-A-R-T Inc., All Rights Reserved.

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