April 11, 2016

Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Bill Signed into Law

GREEN BAY-Today, Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 323 into law. Over the past year, the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, advocacy groups and Senator Cowles have collaborated on the “Justice for Children” package to address some major crimes against children and victims of sexual assault to provide them with an opportunity for better outcomes. Senate Bill 323 gives victims the legal right to have a victim advocate. Victim advocates now will play a much larger role in cases of sexual assault and human trafficking, both against adults and children.

Senator Cowles(R-Green Bay) released the following statement on the bill’s signing:

“We have found that survivors of sexual crimes who have received services from a victim advocate have experienced better outcomes and are in less distress through such a difficult and trying time. Nearly every 107 seconds an American is sexually assaulted and nearly 50% of victims are under the age of 18, this bill will help these victims. Now, survivors of sexual violence have the legal right to a victim advocate during all stages of examinations and legal proceedings. When survivors are assisted by a victim advocate through such a traumatic experience, they have someone, free of charge to them, there solely for their needs from beginning to end. I hope that this legislation can serve as a model around the nation to help survivors of sexual violence achieve greater outcomes. I also want to thank all of the survivors and their victim advocates who testified so passionately during the public hearings about their experiences, your courage helped to get this bill passed and signed into law today to help survivors in the future.”