NPR reports a rape survivor in Texas who was jailed for a month during a holiday recess of her trial is now suing. The article highlights the vast problems that exist in the proper treatment of people who experience mental illness. According to the report, the survivor was jailed during a holiday recess because authorities did not know how else to keep her monitored until the trial resumed. This case is an exclamation point in calling for reform in the care and treatment of those experiencing mental health issues. On July 6, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives took a step toward progress by passing the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.” However, it is up to everyone to educate themselves on appropriate treatment so that others are not at risk of the type of treatment this rape survivor experienced in Texas.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one in five people in the United States experience mental illness. This portion of our community already at risk of stigma and mistreatment in society. When paired with a traumatic experience such as domestic violence or sexual assault they are uniquely victimized. We need to do more to come to their aid, as opposed to harm them further.