Gov. Roy Cooper signs bill to modernize sexual abuse laws and close loopholes

State - Regional

RALEIGH, NC (WBTW) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill Thursday that aims to modernize sexual abuse laws in the state and strengthen enforcement and protection for children who have been abused, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.

The bill, Senate Bill 199, also closes loopholes in existing laws and strengthens penalties against child abusers. The bill closes the loopholes for consent revocation and a person being incapacitated by alcohol.

The bipartisan bill passed unanimously in the state legislature.

“For too long, North Carolina has not protected sexual abuse victims the same ways other states have, and this law closes that consent loophole,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This bipartisan legislation goes a long way to protect all victims of sexual assault, especially children, and will help more people seek justice against abusers.”

“Keeping children safe from abuse and violence is job one for parents and for the state. The SAFE Child Act does exactly that, and I am proud that my office drafted and championed the law. It will make sure abuse is reported and prosecuted – allowing more victims to see justice and putting abusers behind bars. It will better protect kids online from sexual predators. And it will allow adults who were violated as children to sue their abusers in court for the damages they suffered,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.

According to the Governor’s Office, in North Carolina, an estimated 35 percent of women will experience intimate partner violence or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. 81 percent of women in North Carolina have reported experiencing at least one negative outcome due to their experience with intimate partner violence, with 56 percent developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

The new law will go into effect on December 1, 2019.

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