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Freedom from Sexual Violence

Public Policy

Governor signing Senate Bill 007 of the 2019 legislative session, which created protections for students who experience sexual misconduct at institutions of higher education in Colorado so they have access to safe and meaningful education.

CCASA works to ensure that state and federal legislation supports survivors of sexual violence, provides adequate funding for sexual assault service providers, holds offenders accountable, and strives to end sexual violence in our communities. This process includes researching, drafting, analyzing, and lobbying for legislation and policy that encourages system change.

Since 1984, CCASA has been instrumental in the passage of state legislation, including:

  • HB19-1032: required public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education teach about consent
  • SB19-007: created protections for students who experience sexual misconduct at institutions of higher education in Colorado so they have access to safe and meaningful education
  • HB17-1035: enabled victims of sexual assault and stalking, who feel unsafe in their home, to terminate their lease without penalty
  • HB17-1302: protected juvenile victims of privacy violations, while holding those who engage in harmful sexting behaviors accountable
  • HB16-1260: extended the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault of an adult from 10 to 20 years
  • HB15-1220: required all public institutions of higher education (and private institutions of higher education that enter into a performance contract with the state) to enter into at least one memorandum of understanding with a nearby medical facility or facility that employs persons trained in sexual assault patient care and sexual assault forensic evidence collection; and to have a sexual assault training and response policy that includes training for staff, referral to victim advocates, and transportation assistance to the medical facility
  • HB15-1273: added acts of sexual violence on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event to the current list of conduct and discipline code violations that a school is required to report as part of the safe school reporting requirements
  • SB15-020: created a position within the Colorado School Safety Resource Center focused on child sexual abuse prevention
  • SB15-128: created an anonymous reporting option for sexual assault victims who wish to have medical forensic evidence collected (rape kit), while maintaining anonymity from law enforcement
  • HB14-1162: created civil legal protections for sex assault victims who have a child conceived as a result of sexual assault
  • HB14-1273: created the Human Trafficking Council
  • HB13-1020: created new mandates on time frames and criteria for rape kit testing as well as a process for local law enforcement to inventory “backlogged” sexual assault evidence and then submit that evidence for testing
  • HB13-1163: created the Sexual Assault Victim Emergency (SAVE) Payment Program to provide financial assistance to help pay for costs associated with obtaining a medical forensic exam
  • SB10-066: clarified mandatory reporting laws to ensure confidentiality for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • SB07-060: ensured victims of sexual assault have access to information about emergency contraception
  • SB05-138: clarified and strengthened Colorado’s criminal “rape shield” law, protecting victim’s sexual history
  • HB02-1396: eliminated the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse
  • SB02-010: created the sex offender registry
  • SB02-210: added clergy members to the list of persons required to report suspicion of child abuse or neglect
  • HB98-1156: created lifetime supervision for sex offenders
  • SB95-153: made the communications between a sexual assault victim and victim advocate confidential
  • HB88-1089: criminalized rape within marriage

CCASA has advocated at the federal level:

  • to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides critical funding for victim services across Colorado
  • against harmful federal immigration policies that separate children and parents, and gut asylum laws that protect victims fleeing violence

CCASA also engages in regulatory advocacy at the state and federal levels to improve how laws and policies are implemented. Recent highlights include:

  • In 2018, worked with the Colorado Department of Insurance to revise rules pertaining to explanation of benefits in order to ensure that the protected health information of victims receiving treatment is not sent to the primary policyholder
  • In 2018, advocated to maintain existing federal Title IX protections for sexual assault victims in educational institutions
  • In 2018, advocated against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposal to eliminate the rights of transgender, intersex, and non-binary people