Gov. Brown Signs DeSaulnier’s Bill for Counseling for Sex Assault Victims

July 20, 2014 8:00 am · 12 comments

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill authored by state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley that ensures that sexual assault victims receive timely rape crisis counseling services.

O’Malley said Senate Bill 978 allows a hospital to notify the local rape crisis centers when a victim arrives for a medical or evidentiary physical examination after a sexual assault.

Previously, only law enforcement officials were required to notify rape crisis centers and they only did so when the victim of an alleged sexual assault was transported to a hospital for any medical evidentiary or physical examination.

However, not every sexual assault victim notifies law enforcement, O’Malley said.

The legislation signed by the governor allows hospitals to call a rape crisis center directly without having to first contact law enforcement, she said.

O’Malley said in a statement, “Every sexual assault survivor is entitled to the assistance of a rape crisis advocate or counselor, whether or not she chooses to immediately notify law enforcement of the assault.”

She said the bill was supported by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO, California Communities United Institute, the California District Attorneys Association, the California Police Chief’s Association and Californians for Safety and Justice.

1 BigBroWatching July 20, 2014 at 8:16 AM

“Every sexual assault survivor is entitled to the assistance of a rape crisis advocate or counselor, whether or not she chooses to immediately notify law enforcement of the assault.”

Huh? More double nonsense speak from “the powers that be”.

Nanny statism cloaked in helping the victim. As if rape victims can’t make the choice to report themselves. They want to monitor and control every aspect of our lives.

2 PO'd July 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Sexual assault is perhaps the ugliest crime that a person can commit, with the possible exception of murder. The amount of sexual crime convicts paroled is very high in Claycord relative to the general population, with no end in sight.It is a REAL issue, and I am one who wants to see heavier sentencing for sexual crime committed, especially when a minor is the victim.

But, I have to disagree with the statement that “Every sexual assault survivor is entitled to the assistance of a rape crisis advocate or counselor”. Paid for by the taxpayer I assume. It may be helpful, but making it a right as this legislation does, opens up a number of legitimate questions on how much the state should be doing. I can see this thinking mushrooming into another state agency-just what we don’t need.
How about punishing those convicted so that they don’t show up at all
in the general population. Castration? Capital punishment for the most heinous? Special punishment for those in position of authority (youth counselors, religious leaders)? I think so.

The part that is particularly troubling is that the police can be left out of the loop-that’s absolutely crazy!!

Of course, I will probably be in the minority here in this forum, as the average person believes that the state can take care of all their problems.
I stand firm.

3 SKS July 20, 2014 at 12:36 PM

“…whether or not she chooses to immediately notify law enforcement of the assault.”

What happened to personal liberty and decision-making? Oh I know. As the left says “it’s for your own good”.

4 BigBroWatching July 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I also love that they assume that we very sex assault victim is female.
What a bunch of pompous buffoons.

5 Bob H, July 20, 2014 at 5:54 PM

This is more of big brother taking control of our lives. It is up to the victim if they want to report report a crime.

6 The Realist July 20, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Double plus good, comrades!

Repeat after me:
War is peace;
Freedom is slavery;
Ignorance is strength!

7 Pyrrhus July 20, 2014 at 9:31 PM

I don’t get you people, you’re attacking the victim for not notifying the authorities right away? The embarrassment and guilty feeling that the victim is somehow responsible is the reason why they don’t report right away. Especially if the person that is doing the assault is a relative or close family friend.

The person doesn’t have to accept the counseling, but it may make it easier for them if the hospital contacts the center for them. I see nothing wrong with getting people help.

8 BigBroWatching July 21, 2014 at 1:33 AM

7 –> Are you for real?
Read and COMPREHEND.

9 Pyrrhus July 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM

@8 Read and have compassion.

“O’Malley said Senate Bill 978 allows a hospital to notify the local rape crisis centers when a victim arrives for a medical or evidentiary physical examination after a sexual assault.”

Whats wrong with notifying a rape center? If the victim doesn’t want to speak to them, he/she isn’t being forced. Many times a victim feels ashamed or guilty and won’t seek help out of the embarrassment. All this does is makes it easier for a victim to get help. You are all acting like they are taking away the person’s rights.

10 anon July 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

In other words, if you don’t want it to be a matter for law enforcement, for whatever reason, it’s now no longer your choice! Women are obviously not smart enough to make these choices, which is why we have Mark “Nanny-State Hero” DeSaulnier to save the day!

11 gimli July 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Here is the only rape crisis center in Contra Costa which relies on private donations for funding.
http://www.cvsolutions.org/support-services/rape-crisis-center/

There are no sexual assault support groups that I know of in CCcounty.

12 Pyrrhus July 21, 2014 at 1:49 PM

@Anon since when is a rape crisis center the police? Women aren’t the only ones that can be raped. Men and children are also raped.

Also, it isn’t about being smart or taking personal responsibility. It is about helping someone that has been raped and may be in a mental state where they can’t find the help they need. This isn’t like someone breaking into your car and stealing something. This is about being violated in the most intimate way by most likely someone that you know and trust. The amount of guilt and shame keeps many people from talking about their incident for years.

If the victim doesn’t want to speak or seek help from the crisis center than they don’t have to. Nobody is forcing them to do anything. All this bill does is allow hospitals to give the help that their patients need.

I think you are all just so blinded by your hate for Desaulnier that anything he does is wrong in your eyes. He could pass a law that says it’s illegal to shoot children and you would all complain about it.

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