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.
“Victims of sexual assault can have traumatic psychological damage that lingers for years,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “By forcing offenders to fund victim treatment, the State would make them help to undo some of the damage caused by their violent attacks, while helping victims and their families work through their pain.”
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 be 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.
“Sexual attackers violate their victims physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Counseling is necessary to ease the pain and suffering, but the treatment has a hefty price tag. These fines will help sexual assault survivors and their families get counseling and cope with the tragedy.”
This measure unanimously passed the Senate on June 24, and it now heads to Governor Codey’s desk where his signature would make it State law.