Montana is setting a good example by updating its sexual assault laws to the level that all states should be at.
Previously, the law stated that there had to be proof that the victim was violently attacked. But with the updated bill, lack of consent is sufficient evidence to prove rape. Attacks can also be charged with aggravated sexual assault if the victim is unable to give consent (i.e. asleep, drunk, or drugged).
Montana Senator Diane Sands stated that the original sexual assault laws were implemented in the 1970s, and explained why this update is so critical. She said,
“We have had many cases of a sexual assault that everyone agrees was a sexual assault [but] isn’t a sexual assault under the law.”
So basically, people weren’t being punished even if they had committed sexual assault because the law was too lax.
Governor Steve Bullock stated that,
“These pieces of legislation will be truly life changing for the better, for our neighbors and fellow Montanans.”
We hope that this update not only punishes more perpetrators more harshly but also highlights that consent is key. So if perps didn’t believe it from the mouths of people explaining the importance of consent, perhaps they will listen to the law.
We are more than thrilled with this change, and hopefully, now other states will follow suit.