WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- A hearing is coming up for a state proposal that would help victims of sexual assault. It’s called Lindsey’s Law, and is designed to help victims of sexual assault and human trafficking get the mental health services they need.
The bill was written to change the time limits to allow the victims to utilize an existing special fund designed to pay for needed help. “There is something already established called the Crime Victim’s Fund. What this bill will do is, based on the statute of limitations of the crime, allow the victim to go back and actually request access to those funds so they can get mental health services.” Right now, the law has a very fast time limit for reporting the sexual assault crimes. Wright says that time restriction prevents people from getting help. “Basically, the crime has to be reported (now) in five days, and by the nature of sexual assault, that doesn’t happen often for adults much less children because shame is often associated with this crime and it takes people time to come to terms with it and understand what happened to them.”
The bill will have a hearing in Madison, and Wright is optimistic it will pass with bipartisan support. “We do have a hearing scheduled, coming up at the end of next week. It’s a public hearing, and from there it goes on to an executive, and then it will need to go through the Senate as far as public hearings, and then hopefully be voted on in this session.”
Wright says the victims of sexual assault and trafficking crimes often don’t seek help for years after the offense, and this bill will allow them to finally get the help they need.