MADISON — State Rep. Barbara Dittrich, R–Oconomowoc, introduced “Kayleigh’s Law” at a press conference at the Wisconsin State Capitol Wednesday.
The proposed legislation would allow certain sexual assault victims to petition the court for a life-time restraining order against their convicted assaulter. State Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R – Marathon, is the author of the legislation in the Senate.
Kayleigh’s law has recently gone through the Arizona legislative process with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law. It sets out to provide the ability for the victim to seek out continued protection from contact, even if a perpetrator’s probation is terminated. When it was signed into law on April 20, Arizona became the first state in the nation to offer these protections to victims.
According to studies, in Wisconsin, nearly one in five high school students, or 19.9%, reported that someone has forced them “to do sexual things they did not want to do.” Nationally, one in three women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, and 90% of victims know the person who assaulted them.
Currently in Wisconsin, a restraining order may be issued for an adult for up to four years and for a child for up to two years.
These orders can be extended by four years for adults and two years for children, with the option for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children if there is a substantial risk that there is a substantial risk to the survivor.
This bill allows for a lifetime restraining order to protect survivors of first degree, second degree, or third degree sexual assault, as well as in the case of an “individual at risk.”
Dittrich was joined by the namesake of the legislation, Kayleigh Kozak. Additionally, she was joined by Krista Hull, director of the Redeem and Restore Center, and Jennifer Bertram, a special needs mom and community advocate.