New Bill Aims To Protect Spouses Who Are Sexually Assaulted

A bill recently signed into law aims to protect sexual assault victims who are married to their attackers.

Friday, April 30th 2021, 7:39 pm



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A bill recently signed into law aims to protect sexual assault victims who are married to their attackers.

The Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence advocated for a handful of bills this session but one bill took three years to pass.

Advocates said House Bill 2666 is redefining sexual assault, stating someone can be sexually assaulted "within or without the bonds of matrimony."

“Marital rape occurs, and it doesn’t always have force or violence,” said Mackenzie Masilon, the OCADVSA Legislative Liaison.

She said there are a lot of reasons why people do not or cannot report it.

“We take into account that there are things like coercion and sometimes not fighting back because you have to maintain your safety and so we wanted the law to reflect that,” said Masilon.

A CDC survey reports 49% of women and 40% of men have experienced inter-partner violence in Oklahoma.

“Partners are assaulting partners, and we want to make sure2666 that victims who are experiencing that have the choice and the ability to seek justice through the criminal justice system if they choose,” said Masilon.

Masilon is thankful for the support of Majority Floor Leader Representative Jon Echols and other lawmakers who worked on domestic violence bills this session.

“It feels good, I definitely think this is a win for the coalition and all of our programs. Anything that we can do to enhance our laws and make them more protective of victims, give victims’ rights and a path to healing is definitely what we encourage,” she said.

HB 2666 will go into effect this November., jon echols

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