From the bill outlawing Sanctuary Cities to the Bill Cosby case, advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence have a lot on their minds at their annual convention underway in San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Maricarmen Garza, who heads Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, which offers support to sexual assault victims, says SB 4, which outlaws sanctuary cities, is a major concern because it empowers abusers.
She says it is common practice for sexual assault counselors to hear that a man has beaten or sexually assaulted a woman, and then told her, 'if you tell anybody, I'll call ICE.'
"What we're doing here today is educating advocates who work hand in hand with clients, so they can in turn arm all the victims about the necessary information," she said.
She added that there were some significant bills approved by the just ended session of the Legislature which will benefit victims of domestic violence.
Garza says the Cosby case has also concerned victims, due to the attention being paid in the trial to the alleged victim's actions. She says victims of robbery or theft are seldom asked what they did after the incident, as the woman in Cosby's case is being grilled about why she kept calling Cosby after the alleged sexual assault.
"Put all of the blame on the abuser, not on the victim," she said. "Don't ask why she didn't leave, ask why he doesn't stop beating."