Republican Greg Abbott Has A History of Siding Against Rape Victims


Last week, the Wendy Davis campaign released their first TV spot, in which Greg Abbott was taken to task for siding with a company that employed a rapist rather than his victim.

Today, the Dallas Morning News reported that Greg Abbott has an even bigger history of siding against victims of sexual assault.

The story, reported by Christy Hoppe, details five cases in which rape victims sued either their assailant or a company for negligence in the attacks. Abbott decided against four of the victims during his time on the court between 1995 to 2001.

That means Greg Abbott ruled against rape victims 80% of the time, and his opinions have made it more difficult for other victims to gain justice in our legal system.

Now, I'm no pollster, but I can't imagine that defending rapists is really high up there on the average Texas voter's top priority list.

Learn about two of the cases below the jump (trigger warning for sexual assault).  The Dallas Morning News outlines two of the cases:

    1996: Abbott ruled against a woman who repressed memories of abuse from her father, because she reported the attack two months outside the statute of limitations. She was not allowed to sue. Eventually, the Republican Legislature changed the law to extend the statute of limitations.

    1999: A woman was assaulted by an off-duty police officer in a parking garage. She sued the garage owner for serious lapses in security that had plagued the facility for years. Abbott ruled in favor of the garage owner, stating that they had no duty to protect uninvited people, such as rape victims who are dragged there to be assaulted. His opinion made it harder for other victims to sue property owners who were partially at fault for their attacks.

The DMN puts these rulings in the context of Abbott's time as AG:

When Abbott first ran for attorney general, he defended his decision-making on the cases. He also said then that he planned to require law firms doing business with the state to provide 15 hours of free legal help to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

After 12 years as attorney general, that has not happened.

Meanwhile, Wendy Davis has a tremendous record of advocacy on behalf of rape victims, from her multi-year fight to pass a law enabling and funding the testing of back-logged rape kits to preventing victims from being denied treatment at hospitals after their assaults.

Here is the Davis spot hammering Abbott for his previous decision siding with a company that employed a rapist rather than the victim:

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

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