LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - February 10 marked three years since the tragic death of Holli Jeffcoat. The Senate bill a family member introduced last year in her honor is currently being considered.
Stets Bryant is a cousin of Jeffcoat, and has created a bill that brings awareness to sexual assault.
It’s an issue that he says hits close to home. His hope is that by then end of this legislative session people will know who Holli Jeffcoat was.
Bryant said in a college organization he was asked to find an issue he was passionate about.
“Naturally, I chose sexual assault,” Bryant said.
Bryant was encouraged by a friend to create a blueprint of a bill to give to state-level representatives.
It’s called the Jeffcoat Sexual Assault Justice and Prevention Act, also known as Holli’s Bill.
It aims to harshen penalties on those convicted of sexual assault, especially against those with mental disabilities.
It establishes a clearer definition of sexual assault, as well as an education of it in schools and universities across Texas.
We are currently in the 86th Texas Legislative Session. Senator Perry of Lubbock District 28 has filed Senate Bill, which is related “to the creation of the offense of indecent assault, to judicial protection for victims of that offense, and to certain criminal acts committed in relation to that offense.”
Senator Perry said the bill will be heard in the next couple of weeks.
Bryant said although it only represents a fraction of Holli’s Bill, it is a start to the awareness he hopes to bring to sexual assault.
“I hope that people understand that when almost a quarter of, roughly a quarter of citizens and women in this state and in this country are victims of sexual assault, then is not an issue that we can just sit idly by and ignore, it’s something that we have to address. To me, it’s an epidemic and we have to make sure to shine attention on it,” Bryant said.
Bryant said he is grateful that he has been able to start doing this in his hometown, but he does not want the recognition for it.
“I wrote this bill not for me,” Bryant said, “There are very few people making a cause of this issue, and so the fact that I’m able to do this in Holli’s name and create a legacy for her, it has been one of the greatest blessings I could ever ask for.”
Bryant said he knows it might take a few sessions for all of Holli’s Bill to be passed, but he is confident that it will get done.