Moving Beyond the ‘Pink High Heels’ Defense Shaming of Survivors

Survivors deserve to be taken seriously and viewed as human beings worthy of respect and safety regardless of the clothes they wear—if they’ve been drinking, or if their heels happen to be pink. While I am realistic about how much change is possible, a new day has arrived in which taking the avenue of “but look at the pink high heels she was wearing that night” will put the accused in only greater jeopardy in the eyes of the court and the public.

How Texas’s S.B. 8 Restricts Sexual Abuse Survivor Advocacy

Texas’s S.B. 8 empowers private citizens, giving them the right to sue anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion”—including attorneys like myself who represent survivors of sexual assault.

This attempt to tie the hands of attorneys and organizations that serve survivors is a gross overreach of the law that opens the door for attorneys to face civil action for giving advice to our clients and constitutes a breach of the attorney-client privilege that is critical to a healthy justice system. That is why, since S.B. 8 was enacted, I have continued to advise my clients and other women who call our office to help them find resources, even though it means I may face civil liability.