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How New York’s “Rape is Rape Act” will benefit victims

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) – Governor Kathy Hochul recently authorized the expansion of the definition of rape under New York state law. This legislation was intended to further protect survivors by holding perpetrators accountable for sexual assault.

“We are reassuring survivors that when they walk into a police station, or approach the witness stand, the full weight of the law of the state of New York is behind them,” said Governor Hochul.

Attorney Derrick Hogan says this act further expands the definition of rape.

“Before, rape was only defined as sexual intercourse with slight penetration. Now in a sense rape is going to be defined as any contact whether its vaginal contact, oral contact, or anal contact whereas previously oral contact and anal contact was at separate in at part law called criminal sex act, but the Governor is doing away with that,” said Hogan.

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said this update to the law will be important in helping to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community, who he says are victims of rape and sexual assault at higher rates than cis-gendered heterosexuals.

Jaclyn Richard who is the former president of the National Organization for Women says she is thankful for the work Governor Hochul has done for this state and hopes other states will follow suit.

“We are a leading nation in protection for women, children, and all so if we get other people to follow our lead because we’re the most progressive state, we’ll make if safe for you to move to another state or me to move to another state and the more we give protection for every human being the better the whole world’s going to be,” said Richard.

The Rape is Rape Act will take effect September 1st of this year.

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