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2019 State Legislative Priorities

In 2019, KCSARC advocated for changes in state law to remove barriers to justice for victims who report sexual assault.

With the help of our supporters, we made significant policy changes to help survivors in Washington State this session:

  • Simplify and expand the Statute of Limitations for sexual assault crimes (Senate Bill 5649): We made significant progress on the short and arbitrary limits on the time a survivor can expect to hold a perpetrator accountable when reporting to law enforcement. As of July 28, 2019, Washington State's statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse has been eliminated, and survivors aged 16 and over have an extended time to report their assault, in some cases, up to 20 years.

  • Update the Rape 3 statute to match the existing definition of consent in state law, requiring words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to sexual contact (part of Senate Bill 5649).

  • Clarify Sexual Assault Protection Orders (SAPOs) (House Bill 1149) KCSARC supported a legislative fix to the 2018 Roake v. Delman decision regarding SAPOs that would clarify the underlying sexual assault alone is sufficient threat to issue a protection order, rather than requiring victims to provide further evidence that a perpetrator remains a threat to a sexual assault victim after a crime has been committed.

  • Expedite rape kit evidence (House Bill 1166): Governor Inslee signed legislation to implement stronger policies and resources to address the backlog of untested rape kits and ensure all rape kits are tested in a timely manner.