Rep. Baker introduces legislation to support victims of sexual assault
State Rep. Nan Baker recently introduced legislation that will help fund rape crisis centers in Ohio and provide essential support for victims of sexual assault.
House Bill 108 requires each person who registers as a convicted sex offender on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) database to pay a $100 fee, which is then deposited into the Rape Crisis Center Trust Fund administered by the Ohio Attorney General. It also adds a representative of rape crisis centers as a member of the Safe Victims Assistance Advisory Committee.
“It’s been an honor to sponsor this important bill that will give the needed funding to our most underserved victims,” said Rep. Baker, who jointly sponsored House Bill 108 with State Rep. Kirk Schuring, Canton Republican. “It is rewarding to know that this bill will assist hundreds of thousands of sexual assault victims regain their quality of life.”
Representatives Baker and Schuring held a press conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to discuss the legislation and why it is needed to provide comprehensive rape crisis services throughout Ohio. They presented a five-year plan for providing services such as preventative care at rape crisis centers in every county in Ohio. House Bill 108 plays a key role in the implementation of this five-year plan.
According to the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, rape survivors are three times more likely to suffer from depression, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. It has also been found that individuals who survive sexual assault experience reduced income throughout adulthood as a result of victimization during adolescence, with a lifetime income loss estimated at more than $241,000.
Crisis intervention and counseling services may decrease the negative effects of sexual assault and assist the victim’s ability to return to work.
House Bill 108 will soon be assigned to a House committee.
Shannon Boston is the Deputy Director of Communications of the Ohio House of Representatives