Women’s Caucus Targets Sex Crimes, Healthcare, Domestic Abuse

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The Women’s Legislative Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature has proposed a package of bills and resolutions that include a number of measures related to sexual assault, including removal of the statute of limitations on prosecuting rape cases.

The legislative agenda also includes bills and resolutions targeting crime, corrections, healthcare, domestic abuse and political action in its 2011 legislative package.

The group of 15 state representatives and nine state senators announced they were putting forth 15 bills and five resolutions in their package.

The bills include:

  • Elimination of the statue of limitations for civil actions brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as a minor.
  • Making it a misdemeanor offense for a parent or legal guardian who fails to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection or control over their minor child.
  • Requiring hospitals and providers of emergency medical care to provide survivors of sexual assault with medically and factually accurate unbiased information regarding emergency contraception.
  • Prohibiting the physically restraint of pregnant inmates, unless extraordinary circumstances exist.
  • Requiring the department of public safety to establish a statewide automated victim notification system providing crime victims with current information regarding the offender’s custodial status.
  • Amending the sex offender registration law to include violation of privacy offenses, including voyeurism.  Requires registration for offenders subject to sex offender registration or notification in their jurisdiction of conviction.
  • Appropriating funds for the continued operation of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii program and clinic.
  • Allowing a temporary restraining order to remain in effect for 90 days or until service of a protective order, whichever occurs first.  Also would amend law to provide that protective orders orally stated by the court on the record shall be effective upon service on the respondent.
  • Requiring the establishing of a working group to develop a plan to increase education and awareness of lupus.
  • Removing the statute of limitations for prosecution of rape cases.
  • Providing for the impounding of vehicles used in the commission of street prostitution in specified zones as established by the counties.
  • Requiring DNA collection from those arrested on violent felony charges.  While all states require DNA collection for felony convictions, most states have begun considering bills to require collection for felony arrests.
  • Mandating the collection of DNA samples from arrestee for sex offenses against minors.
  • Prohibiting employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment based upon the employee’s or the applicant’s status as a victim of domestic violence.
  • Requiring the Department of Public Safety to develop a plan to use current funding resources to improve community based programs to assist female offender’s transition back into the community.

Among the resolutions being sought by the caucus are:

  • Declaring the month of May as Lupus Awareness Month.
  • Requesting development of educational materials that can be provided to patients informing them about the ethical standards relating to sexual boundaries in the provider-patient relationship.
  • Encouraging the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene to include breastfeeding in educational curriculum so that medical professionals advocate and promote breastfeeding to expectant mothers.
  • Requesting the state Attorney General conduct a study on whether the goals and objectives of Hawaii’s sex offender laws are being met and are being implemented in the way they were intended.
  • Recognizing of the need to reach out to Hawaii women and engage them in the political process.

The package this year is dedicated to Dr. Tricia Wright, Founder of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii program and clinic.  PATH works with high-risk, pregnant women including those who have unintended pregnancies, those who smoke during pregnancy, and women who binge drink or are obese prior to pregnancy.

The members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus are:

Representatives: Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Rida Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne Ching, Cindy Evans, Faye Hanohano, Sharon Har, Linda Ichiyama, Georgette “Jo” Jordan, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, Hermina Morita, Kymberly Pine, Cynthia Thielen, Jessica Wooley.

Senators: Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Pohai Ryan, Maile Shimabukuro, Malama Solomon, Jill Tokuda.