For many generations sexual assault was not treated as seriously as it should have been. It used to be that sex assailants could attack someone up to three times before being put on the official sexual predators list. If the assaults happened over a period longer than ten years, the attacker was still kept off of the predators list. But no more.
It’s gratifying that a bill I sponsored now means that no matter when they occur, after two attacks, all attackers are automatically entered into New York State’s repeat offenders data base and their names placed on the sexual predators’ list. Even working from the disadvantage of being in the Senate’s minority, by stressing how knowledge is empowering and how this list is a proven deterrent, we were able to prevail.
With women and girls comprising more than three fourths of New York’s victims of sexual abuse, passage of this legislation, on the eve of the 100th observance of International Women’s Day, is a great way to celebrate Women’s History Month. Much remains to be done, but this bill is a giant step toward a better, safer state for all of us.