April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The theme this year is "Prevention Demands Equity." Consider honoring victims of sexual assault by learning more. There are several virtual learning options hosted throughout the month, all are free resources. Sign up below for any of these free virtual trainings!


May 2022 Legislative Updates


MOCADSV has recently done an excellent job of summarizing the legislative changes agreed on during the last session. The Omnibus Bill was passed with support from both party lines and included were several changes pertaining to sexual assault. 

Among these changes, highlights include: 

*The Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights was edited to be more concise in presenting victims their rights and expectations from all parties involved. 
*The "rape shield" law expanded to cover victims from being questioned on prior sexual activity throughout the entire judicial process of the assault proceedings. Before, this was just during the actual trial. 
*Improvements to keeping victim contact information and other personal information like employer information out of trial proceedings for an increase in victim privacy. 
*Changes will now allow video conference for civil court proceedings making legal proceedings potentially more comfortable for victims. 

All changes made during this session are scheduled to be implemented August 28th, 2022. 

Donelan Law Welcomes Meredith Osgood!


Meredith Osgood, Client Coordinator

Donelan Law is thrilled to announce Meredith Osgood as the new Client Coordinator for the firm.
Meredith has a history of working hard to help others. With a career working and volunteering in non-profit organizations, Meredith has worked with both volunteers and those benefitting from agency services. 
Working with others to accomplish goals while focusing on what matters most - helping others and instilling community - is what she does best. While at CASA of Southwest Missouri, Meredith found herself in and out of the court room in various supporting roles. She is looking forward to working for the clients at Donelan Law in a similar capacity.
Meredith has a degree in Elementary Education from Missouri State University.  She is a wife and mother, and is committed to do whatever she can to help those seeking out the legal representation from Donelan Law. 

Research Links Sexual Assault to later Brain Damage in Women

A recent news article discusses the findings of a study showing women who have experienced sexual violence are more likely to develop disruptions to blood flow in the brain.  

The study found that women who experience sexual violence might face more than the physical injuries sustained during the attack and other known mental health consequences like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. They may also have a higher risk of a certain type of brain disease that's a precursor for dementia and stroke.

This research has important implications for women's overall health and identifying early warning signs of stroke and dementia.  Women who have been sexually traumatized are encouraged to share this information with their health care providers.