House Bill 1169, beginning in July, will change Colorado’s legal definition of sexual assault from sexual intrusion when “the actor causes submission of the victim by means sufficient to cause submission against the victim’s will” to when the actor causes sexual intrusion “knowing the victim does not consent.”
The current law was written in the 1970s and Colorado is one of only two states in the country that still uses the language. The bill sponsors said 34 other states use the language under the bill in their sexual assault laws.
Last year, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault reported that Colorado’s sexual violence rate is higher than the national average. The organization said 23.8% of women in Colorado had experienced sexual violence, compared to 18.3% nationally.