Aravella Simotas, New York Assemblywoman, asks for your help to fix New York’s antiquated rape laws.

The Stop Abuse Campaign supports this bill.

 

July 20, 2020

Dear Stop Abuse Campaign Supporters,

For years, I have been fighting to update New York’s antiquated definition of rape and call acts of forced oral and anal trauma by their name—Rape.  I write to humbly ask for your support of a bill I drafted eight years ago that would do just that. I am excited that this year, the legislation appropriately named the Rape is Rape bill is sponsored in the NYS Senate by Brad Hoylman, a true champion for the LGBTQ community. Currently, the FBI considers rape to be “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Our Rape is Rape bill would redefine New York’s narrow definition of rape to include acts of forced oral and anal sex. 

It is our obligation to respect survivors by ensuring that what any person would recognize as rape is unequivocally called rape by the law. 

The Rape is Rape bill (A794-E/S8279) defines rape in the first, second, and third degrees not just as forced sexual intercourse (that can anatomically only occur between a male and a female) but as oral, anal, and aggravated sexual conduct.  At its core, this bill is designed to remove any ambiguity or unnecessary nuance when it comes to calling rape what it really is. Calling rape by any other name rejects the true nature of the crime and literally adds insult to injury when it comes to the victim’s trauma.

 

I am immensely grateful to the Stop Abuse Campaign for joining me from the beginning of my journey in 2012 to call for the NYS legislature to pass this bill. It is my hope that you will join us and help amplify our cause, so that the Rape is Rape legislation will finally be passed by both houses and enacted into law. 

I count on your support and advocacy to help spread the word, urge your legislators, especially your NYS Senators, to vote for this bill, and help change our laws. 

We must call rape by its name, and your advocacy will help us do so.  

 

Thank you, 

 

Aravella Simotas

NYS Assembly Member 
36th District – Queens 

PS. Find your legislator below and please call them now. This is our chance to make sure we hold rapists accountable in New York.

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