OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives once again passed legislation to support survivors of sexual assault. Sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, HB 1002 modifies the offense of rape in the third degree by removing the language requiring that lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim’s words or conduct. The bill passed 96 – 0.
“I am incredibly proud of the work the legislature has done on sexual assault. This legislation is a trauma informed approach that makes the criminal justice system more accessible to survivors of these horrific assaults, while still maintaining due process for the accused,” said Orwall, who has spent her legislative career championing policies to support sexual assault survivors, including testing of the rape kit backlog.
“In the face of trauma, all the evidence shows that it is incredibly common that victims don’t always ‘fight or flight.’ Often they experience a state of paralysis called tonic immobility and freeze. It’s important our laws reflect this.”
HB 1002 moves to the Senate for consideration. Last year, Orwall’s bill did not make it to the Senate floor for a vote.