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Jun 6, 2017 5:15 PM

4 rape victim protection bills in NH to be signed into law

CONCORD — On Wednesday afternoon, four victim protection bills will be signed into law in the Executive Council Chambers at the Statehouse.

The legislation will include bills to safeguard rape victims' legal rights to privacy and enhance protections for child victims.

Amanda Grady Sexton, New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) Director of Public Affairs, said, "Rarely have we seen a year in which victims’ rights and protections have been so much at risk, and we are incredibly grateful to work with a Legislature that understands the importance of protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens."

The first bill, SB 9, will strengthen NH's Rape Shield Law to make sure private, unrelated sexual history of victims will not be used to attack them in a court proceeding.

SB 166 will make it easier for victims who are impregnated due to rape to terminate the rights of the rapist as a parent. It shifts the burden of proof from the victim to the rapist to prove that maintaining parental rights is in the best interest of the child.

HB 94 will prohibit certain legal defenses for defendants being charged with purchasing sex from a minor. Neither lack of knowledge of the victim's age nor "consent" of a minor can be used by defendants in human trafficking cases.

HB 220 will change the term "Child Pornography" to "Child Sexual Abuse Images" to better represent the nature of the crime.

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