Assembly Legislation Offers More Justice for Rape Survivors

J.M. Lesinski
A parking lot sits empty at night in Buffalo, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

In an effort to continue positive reform in one of the most troubling areas of justice, the New York State Assembly recently passed a very important piece of legislation that redefines New York state rape statutes. The goal of the legislation is to better ensure that all survivors of rape receive the justice they deserve.

“For years, the Assembly has fought to make this legislation the law of the land in New York,” remarked New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the legislation. “It is past time that our laws ensure that all forms of rape are treated as the very serious and traumatizing crime that they are, and that perpetrators of such horrific violence are charged accordingly.”

The legislation removes the requirement of penetration from the legal definition of sexual intercourse for the purposes of New York’s rape statutes, a move considered long overdue by many.

“Today’s passage marks the 10th time that the Assembly has passed this legislation – justice for these survivors is long overdue,” New York State Assemblymember Catalina Cruz stated of the legislation. “When these brave individuals relive their painful experience in court, they deserve to know that they have the full weight of the law behind them. It is simply unacceptable that our laws treat these horrendous acts as anything less than rape. I am proud to carry this legislation that would help survivors receive justice and ensure perpetrators are held accountable.”’

The newly passed legislation also redefines rape to include nonconsensual oral sexual contact, anal sexual contact, and vaginal sexual contact, which are all currently prosecuted in New York state as criminal sexual acts.

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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