The Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality on Monday unanimously approved for its second and third (final) readings a bill that will permit sexual assault survivors, if they are adults, to agree to reveal their identities without permission from a court.
Until now, the penal code has prohibited publication of personal details or identities of individuals who have been, or claim to be victims of sexual crimes unless they have received permission from a judge, or a court has authorized this due to special circumstances.
To protect minors and prevent the possibility that they will be pressured in an inappropriate way, the bill, amendment no. 135 to the Penal Law, establishes that they will need to declare in court that they agree to exposure of their personal information.
“Every woman has a right to reveal her story when and where she pleases,” said Committee Chairwoman MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List). “This is a historic hour in the committee. After the very hard work of victims who insisted on their right and their destiny and encouraged female Knesset members who believe in the importance of this issue to promote private legislation, we have reached the moment where the private bills merge with the government-sponsored bill that will soon pass in the Knesset plenum.”
Attorney Liana Meged of the Ministry of Justice said, “We saw that victims, both male and female, could not tell their stories, and this led us to make a perceptual change. We realized that the protection is too extensive and hurts the recuperation and rehabilitation process of the victims.”
This bill comes on the heels of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women