Madden / Girgenti Bill To Create ‘Sex Crime Victim Treatment Fund’ Approved By Assembly Appropriations Committee

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and John A. Girgenti that would create the “Sex Crime Victim Treatment Fund,” to help provide funding for victim counseling was approved today by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“The traumatic effects of sexual assault can linger for years, affecting nearly every area of victims’ lives,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This measure provides funding to counsel survivors of sexual assault and their families, so that they can work through their pain and begin leading healthier lives.”

The Senators’ measure, S-781, would impose monetary penalties on sex offenders to be used to fund treatment and counseling services for assault victims and their families. Persons convicted of sexual assault would we subject to fines of up to $1,000. The monies collected would be used to fund the “Sex Crime Victim Treatment Fund,” and the Department of Law and Public Safety’s Division of Justice would be directed to disperse the money to survivors.

“Through this piece of legislation, we are forcing sex offenders to take responsibility for their damaging actions,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Victims of sexual assault tend to continually feel fear and anxiety after an attack, and in some instances this may significantly impact their personal or professional lives. Because of the detrimental effects that sex crimes can have on victims, treatment is needed to help ease the long-lasting pain.”

This measure unanimously passed the Senate in June and now heads to the full Assembly for final legislative approval.

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