California Redefines Rape

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO)- Governor Brown helps California take a step in the right direction to end the rape culture by updating an antiquated rape definition and signing AB701. The legislation was introduced in response to a loophole in California state penal code that the Brock Turner case highlighted. AB701, joint authored by Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), Chair of the LGBT Caucus, will add Section 263.1 to the Penal Code, which would state that all forms of non-consensual sexual assault may be considered rape for purposes of the gravity of the offense and the support of survivors. 

“Sexual penetration without consent is rape.  It is never invited, wanted or warranted. Rape is rape, period,” said Assemblymember Garcia. "When we fail to call rape “rape,” we rob survivors and their families of the justice they deserve.”

It will take an enormous effort not only from legislators, but everyone, to overturn rape culture, and we are starting here,” Assemblymember Eggman said. “With AB701, we will change the antiquated, heterosexist definition of rape that persists in current law. If we’re going to end rape culture we must call rape what it is.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men. (Source: http://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-assault-and-the-lgbt-community)

The bill garnered intense interest from legislative colleagues. AB 701 was supported by a diverse cohort of co-authors: Assemblymember Bonilla, Assemblymember Gatto, Assemblymember Lopez, Assemblymember Williams, Assemblymember Arambula, Assemblymember Atkins, Assemblymember Bonta, Assemblymember Gipson, Assemblymember Gomez, Assemblymember McCarthy, Assemblymember Olson, Assemblymember Grove, Assemblymember Maienschein, Senator Leyva, Senator Beall, Senator Glazer, Senator Hill, Senator Anderson, Senator Hall, Senator Hancock, Senator Stone, Senator Leno, and Senator Hertzberg.

The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.