New bill would alter existing laws on spousal rape

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A California state senator is hoping to put an end to spousal rape by introducing a new bill that will hopefully change the laws regarding spouse-on-spouse rape.

“We believe rape is rape,” said Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, and that’s the message he is hoping to get across with Senate Bill 530.

“Trying to eliminate what a lot of us feel is a very artificial category of criminal charge of rape, which is called spousal rape,” he continued.

Right now the Democratic senator, who represents Silicon Valley, says people who are convicted of spousal rape do not face the same consequences as a person who is single.

“For spousal rape, probation is available, meaning no incarceration whatsoever. And for spousal rape, there’s no registry with the sex offender registry,” Sen. Cortese explained.

In Sacramento, My Sister’s House is a nonprofit that aims to stop domestic violence within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Executive director Nilda Valmores sees many women who fall victim to abuse from their spouses.

“Many advocates feel that marital rape is under reported, especially by immigrant communities,” she told FOX40.

At Women’s Empowerment, a nonprofit that aims to help homeless women, they say they are on board with Sen. Cortese’s bill.

“Rape is rape. It doesn’t matter the relationship between the two people and all rape is violent. I think it is really antiquated that that isn’t already a part of the law,” said job developer Emily Berger.

While this bill still has some ways to go before it becomes a law, Sen. Cortese believes right now is the right time.

“The time is as good as it’s ever going to be because there’s more awareness of the justice movement in general,” he said.

Sen. Cortese says this bill still needs to be heard in the committee process before it moves to the senate and assembly floor for votes.

If it gets a majority vote, it will then head to the governor’s desk for him to sign into law.

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