This week Honey urged support for HB281, a bill in Utah that was designed to create a special prosecutor position at the Utah Attorney General's Office. If passed, this bill would allow sexual assault survivors who wanted to have their cases prosecuted, but were denied across Utah, to get a second chance.
On Wednesday morning, lawmakers and advocates gathered in the hearing room at the Utah State Capitol to discuss the bill. Although time was limited, two individuals were given the opportunity to speak briefly in favor of the bill.
One of these individuals was Devin Neff. Having followed Honey for a couple of years, Devin agreed to participate in a photoshoot with friends for Honey's website and social media a few months ago. When we posted our call to action in support of HB281, we chose Devin's portrait to accompany the post, unaware of her experiences that related directly to the topic of the bill.
After seeing her photo posted in connection to the call to action, Devin researched HB 281 and felt called to participate in the hearing. On Tuesday, she booked a flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City and on Wednesday morning she stood and testified before the committee. Her courage, and the courage of others present, brought us to tears. The bill passed unanimously.
In a field of work that often feels like an uphill battle, Devin's experience reminds us why we are committed to advocacy. Our voices matter, and change is tangible—we witnessed that this week.
If you’d like to listen to an audio recording of the hearing, click here. (Skip ahead to about 1:49:00 for the testimonies.)