Despite ‘Death’ of Sexual Abuse Task Force, Jolene Loetscher Carries On
Unless there is a legislative miracle in the waning days of the South Dakota Legislature, the “Jolene’s Law” Task Force that has looked for ways to help childhood sexual assault victims may be finished.
Wednesday in a 10-2 party line vote in the House State Affairs Committee, Republican legislators killed a bill that would have extended the study of ways to prevent sexual childhood abuse and help survivors.
For childhood sexual assault survivor Jolene Loetscher of Sioux Falls - who the group was named after - it was a terrible personal blow.
“I wish I could take away the pain. But, I have," Loetscher said. "But the privilege to give voice to the victims and the children, like me, that are out there, um, it’s an unimaginable honor.”
Loetscher said she felt that committee members gave short shrift to her and other victims who testified for the one-year extension. She said it came down to cold, hard politics and money.
“I think what they did today was make a vote and make a decision that seems to say to victims of all ages of sexual assault that we really don’t care about your pain, and that we are not interested in watching this task force continue incredible and really forward moving work that it has already started,” Loetscher said.
Loetscher made her comments Wednesday on KSOO’s Viewpoint University.