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State Senator

Christine Cohen

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Sen. Cohen Reaffirms Her Support for Democrats’ “Time’s Up” Sexual Harassment Bill

HARTFORD , CT– Monday, on the day it received its much-anticipated public hearing before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) reiterated her support for Senate Bill 3, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.” The legislation Democrats’ call the ‘Time’s Up” bill is designed to increase some sexual harassment penalties, extend the time limits people have to file lawsuits for sexual assault, and require more employer-sponsored sexual harassment training.

“We must protect victims, prevent sexual assault and harassment from taking place and educate everyone on what is and what is not appropriate behavior in the workplace,” said Sen. Cohen. “This legislation is necessary to accomplish those goals. I am committed to working alongside my colleagues to ensure the passage of this proposed legislation.”

More than five dozen individuals and organizations submitted written testimony Monday regarding Senate Bill 3; those testifying in support include the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Women and Families Center, the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence the state Victim Advocate, and The Center for Family Justice.

Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s statute of limitations for rape -- five years -- is one of the shortest in the country. Twenty-five other states have no statute of limitations for rape, and 20 states have a limit longer than Connecticut’s.

Senate Bill 3 would extend our existing statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes from five years to no limit in Class B and C felony sexual assault (e.g., forced rape, rape by drugs), and from five years to 25 years in felony sexual assault ( e.g., forced sexual contact).

Senate Bill 3 eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor, which would apply prospectively (going forward after passage), and it eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims against an adult, which would also apply prospectively.

Senate Bill 3 also contains new sexual harassment training requirements where employers with three or more employees must provide such training to all employees.

Currently, employers with only 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of training on sexual harassment to supervisory employees within six months of their employment. The new bill would require two hours of training for all employees, not just supervisors.

The Judiciary Committee has until April 12 to vote on the bill.

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