A bill by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to ease the process for sexual assault victims to receive counseling services passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously today.
The bill has now garnered bipartisan support in both the Assembly and State Senate. 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.
“SB 978 will ease the process for sexual assault victims to get needed counseling services,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “We need to reduce the burdens faced by sexual assault victims who have already suffered physical and emotional trauma, as well as an assault on their privacy and dignity. I thank Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley for her leadership and her sponsorship of this important bill to protect victims.”
SB 978 is sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. The bill enjoys strong support from law enforcement groups including the California District Attorneys Association and California Police Chiefs Association.