Gov. Inslee signs sexual assault protection order bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A new state law provides new protection for sexual assault survivors.

Now those with sexual assault protection orders won't have to confront their attacker in court every two years.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature is moment of triumph for all who need Sexual Assault Protection Orders.

And that's especially true for Cali Knox.

“I know that this will impact me and a lot of other victims and I'm just really happy I got to be a part of this.”

KIRO-7's Amy Clancy interviewed Knox, in December, just before the beginning of the legislative session. She was asking lawmakers to make Sexual Assault Protection Orders permanent instead of requiring survivors like her to face her accuser in court every two years.

“It's a really traumatizing hard thing. I mean just going to court in general and also knowing that your abuser could be there. It's really scary.”

Today Inslee praised Knox and other survivors who made their private pain public.

“I want to give a tip of the hat to those who have been courageous enough to speak up. Their courage is going to prevent harm to others,” the governor said.

For assault victim advocate Mary Ellen Stone, this is a sweet victory after a three year long battle in the Legislature.

“If you come forward and you speak out and you want to hold the offender accountable or you need assistance, our system of laws is better able to protect you,” said Stone, who is director of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center

The governor signed another new law that keeps rape survivors who conceive a child from having to share custody with their rapist.

“I finally am able to get this dirty rapist out of my life,” said rape survivor Rachel Groper.