Saturday, October 23, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Ohio Bill Would End Spousal Exemptions for Sexual Violence

Play

Tuesday, July 13, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A bill under consideration in the Ohio Legislature would ensure relationship status doesn't limit a sexual assault victim's ability to speak out against their abuser.

Under current law, certain sex crimes exempt people who commit sexual violence against their spouses, even though the same actions outside a marriage would be considered a crime.

Rosa Beltré, executive director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, said no one should assume spousal rape is within the bounds of socially acceptable behavior.

"'Your body is mine, and I own you as a property,' is the message that we're actually sending survivors," Beltré contended. "And I cannot believe that it's this century and that we're still dealing with that. Marital rape is real, and it does exist."

It's estimated up to one in 10 sexual assaults occur within marriage, a statistic that rises to nearly seven in 10 if domestic violence is already present in the relationship.

House Bill 121 is currently in the House Criminal Justice Committee. Opposing testimony has not yet been heard.

Beltré noted the typical counterargument against removing spousal exemptions is that it would allow a person to make false accusations against their spouse. She pointed out that less than 3% of sexual abuse allegations are false.

"Eliminating that victim-blaming mentality is so crucial," Beltré asserted. "This is not a mechanism for retaliation, and this is not about unwanted sexual contact from their partner."

Beltré added Ohio is one of only 12 states that does not distinguish between married and unmarried victims of sexual violence.

"It sends survivors a message that what is happening to them is not a crime and that it's legal," Beltré stressed. "And then, survivors have trouble identifying that they have experienced sexual violence. It's time for Ohioans to start believing survivors."

Disclosure: Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Health Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …


Hispanic people are 2.3 times as likely to have died from COVID-19 than white/non-Hispanic people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Gov. Tom Wolf already has increased the minimum wage for state employees and contractors, which is set to reach $15 an hour by July 2024. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021