After being raped in the middle of the night at age 13, Founder, Author, and Survivors Coach, Lavinia Masters, muscled the courage to report the attack and went so far as to submit the required rape kit. Unfortunately, that rape kit remained on the shelves of local law enforcement for 21 years, long after the statue of limitations expired. That expiration inspired Lavinia to make sure no other sexual assault survivor’s kit got lost in the shuffle, and since 2004, Lavinia has worked tirelessly to end rape kit backlog. She’s bravely spoken on behalf of victims since 2004 and was the inspiration behind House Bill 8 – The Lavinia Masters Act. Her voice has been used to speak to state and federal legislators such as Texas State Representative Victoria Neave (D), who she worked alongside with to present the bill in addition to partnering with Senior Senator John Cornyn (R) until Governor Greg Abbott (R) passed it onto law. Lavinia advocated for the immediate processing of rape kits and now serves as an advocate to ensure sexual assault survivors have the needed evidence and legal protections to move forward with prosecution.
Lavinia’s also worked alongside the Dallas Police Department Sexual Assault Cold Case Program, the US Justice Department, and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) as well as served with Senator Wendy Davis (D), Senator John Cornyn (R), former Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins, former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), State Rep. Ina Minjarez (D) as well as having the honor of serving on the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence w/Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Rep. Annie Kuster, Patrick Meehan, and David Joyce.
She currently serves as a volunteer on the Speaker Bureau with the Rape Abuse & Incest Network (RAINN), as well with the Denton County Friends of the Family Speakers Bureau and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), Congressional Sexual Assault Task Force, Texas Governors Sexual Assault Task Force, TAASA Sexual Assault Advisory Steering Committee and the TRAC Advisory Board w/Texas A&M University.