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Public Policy

The 2019 Hawai'i State Legislative Session

During the 2019 legislative session, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) tracked over one hundred bills and other measures relating directly or indirectly to sexual violence in a number of areas of the law, including Hawai‘i’s penal code, insurance code, public safety, family courts, and victim’s rights.

Hawai‘i’s lawmakers passed five measures this session that are particularly significant for survivors of sexual violence.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 171

requests the State Auditor to conduct an impact assessment report for insurance coverage of clinical victim support services, as a prerequisite for passing a requirement for such coverage into Hawai‘i State Law.

House Resolution 33 and Senate Resolution 52

request that a working group convened by the Department of Education continue to meet for the purpose of reviewing and expanding the delivery of sexual violence prevention education in Hawai‘i’s public school system, and make annual reports on progress and recommendations to the Legislature and the Board of Education.

Senate Resolution 3

requests that the Department of the Attorney General initiate an investigation of the Roman Catholic Church concerning sexual abuse committed against children by clergy.

House Bill 1352

was incorporated into the Executive Budget for the State of Hawai‘i for Fiscal Years 2019 – 2020 and 2020-2021 and passed into law as Act 5 (2019), funds Hawai‘i’s Sexual Assault Response and Training Initiative, Hawai‘i’s statewide SART team.

House Bill 437

passed into law as Act 237 (2019), authorizes crime victim compensation for mental health services for surviving family members of victims in cases involving a death and for children who witness instances of domestic violence.

These measures contribute substantively to improve our state’s response to sexual violence, by allowing the development and implementation of additional resources to better help survivors, their families, and their communities throughout the islands, and by updating the laws of our state to better reflect a current understanding of sexual violence and how it should be addressed.

If you would like additional information regarding this legislative session or the SATC's public policy advocacy, please contact us at 808-535-7600 or via our website contact form.