The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to protect a greater number of victims by making certain modifications to a law she pioneered, known as the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015” (SASPA). The law went into effect in May of 2016.
Senator Beck’s bill, S-2601, would ensure New Jersey law recognizes and provides for the enforcement of protective orders originating from the 23 other states that also offer the protections established under SASPA.
“Any sexual assault survivor who has gone through the arduous process of obtaining a restraining order in another state must be able to keep those protections when they come to New Jersey,” Senator Beck said. “We can make this a reality under my Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act; by giving law enforcement the ability to enforce a protective order issued in any of the 23 other states that have these lifesaving laws in place.”
My bill protects kids at risk of being sexually abused by a parent &ensure SASPA continues to protect all survivors https://t.co/2qe6F4bOlm
— Sen. Jennifer Beck (@jenbecknj) November 21, 2016
Beck’s S-2601 would amend SASPA to prevent a parent who reports that their child has been sexually assaulted by another parent from using it to avoid criminal charges against the offending-parent. Rather, the reporting-parent must report the incident of sexual assault to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency for investigation and possible legal action under applicable existing law.
“The modifications established under my new bill will protect children who are at risk of being sexually abused by a parent,” Senator Beck said. “By making this change we will ensure that the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act continues to be used for the very reason we fought so hard to enact it – to protect all survivors from being further victimized by their abuser.”
Senator Beck was a prime sponsor of the “Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act of 2015,” which permits victims of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, lewdness, or attempts of such acts to apply for a temporary protective order with the Superior Court.
This law specifically applies to cases in which the victim does not have a domestic relationship with the perpetrator and if he or she decides not to file a criminal complaint. Prior to SASPA, these victims were ineligible for restraining orders.