Senator DeSaulnier Bill to Ensure Sexual Assault Victims’ Access to Counseling Services Passes Committee

April 24, 2014 18:00 pm · 7 comments

A bill by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to ease the process for sexual assault victims to receive counseling services passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety unanimously today.

SB 978 will allow medical providers to notify rape counseling centers when a victim is transported to the hospital for a medical evidentiary exam, upon approval by the victim. Under current law, only law enforcement officers can contact counseling centers for victims.

“Victims of violent sexual crimes suffer physical trauma, fear, and an assault on their privacy and dignity,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “We need to reduce as many burdens faced by victims as possible—this bill will make it easier for them to get the counseling services they need. I thank Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley for sponsoring this important effort to protect victims.”

SB 978 allows the hospital to notify the local rape victim counseling center when a victim arrives at the hospital for a medical or evidentiary physical examination, upon approval of the victim. By clarifying that the hospital may initiate counseling services for the victims if they choose, this bill will reaffirm California’s commitment to protecting victim’s rights. A medical provider is often the first point of contact for a rape victim. It will be easier on victims if hospitals have the ability to call a rape crisis center for the victims without going through law enforcement.

SB 978 is sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. The bill is also supported by the California District Attorneys Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

The Realist April 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Do politicians even hire people to think these things through since they are apparently incapable of such critical thinking themselves? Or do they just push whatever the lobbyist put in front to them?
I predict this will actually DECREASE the amount of rapes reported. Which of course will look good on the books! It’s bad enough to have the cops know your business, now the whole hospital staff will too. (Not just the treating physician.) The victims may NEED the services. But they don’t always want them. *SMH*

Local PD: LOOK, rapes have gone done from the same time last year!
Local idiot politician: The laws are WORKING! YAY! *pats self on back*

The Realist April 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

And yes I realize it says “if they choose”. But without reading the whole text of the law, I can guarantee you, it removes some choice from the victims and concentrates power where it always does with new laws… in the hands of the government.

Boneguy1 April 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM

How about HIS sexual assault VOTE to allow Elementary kids choose bathrooms on how they feel that day? Where’s the protection for our kids? This guy is a grandstanding piece of hypocrisy or you fill in the blank !

Elwood April 24, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Got asinine bill?

Marky Mark will author it!

Bill P April 25, 2014 at 4:33 AM

Do they ever bring up anything that is covered under their oath of office?
This clown, a wannabe Miller, is a carpetbagger and has always been one.

Liberalism is destroying this Country, just go away and try some other Nation.

Antler April 25, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Excellent bill! Think it through before blithering on political grounds, people. With advisories re sexual assault patients automatically filed by caregivers and law enforcement, the victim no longer has to fear retribution from criminal elements if she/he “TELLS”.

When will it end? April 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Antler points out an important point. Victims fear retribution for being victims. The criminals should be the people living in fear. Instead the law protects the criminals.

A crime is committed, the criminal goes home safe and sound. Police cannot even search the home unless they have a search warrant while the victim suffers and lives in fear.

That’s backwards. The criminal needs to be fearful for his crime. The victim should not suffer the criminal should.

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