Public Policy

The 2014 Hawai'i State Legislative Session

During the 2014 legislative session, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) tracked over one hundred bills and resolutions relating directly or indirectly to sexual violence in a number of areas of the law, including Hawai‘i’s penal code, public safety, family courts and victims’ rights. Six bills supported by SATC passed this session.

Hawai‘i lawmakers unanimously passed two bills supported by SATC this session that are particularly important for survivors of sexual violence.

Act 113, signed into law on June 20, 2014, removes the statute of limitations for criminal actions arising from sexual assault in the first and second degrees and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of fourteen.

S.B. 2687 extends the period during which a survivor of child sexual abuse can bring a time-barred civil action against the perpetrator or the negligent entity owing a duty of care to the survivor of child sex abuse, including State entities that were previously exempt, to April 24, 2016.

Both bills recognize how common it is for survivors of sexual assault, especially children, to wait some time before telling anyone about the assault. These bills allow survivors of sexual assault more time to come forward and pursue legal action to hold abusers accountable. SATC also authored an opinion-editorial article on the bills that was published in the Star Advertiser to thank the legislature for its support and encourage approval by Governor Neil Abercrombie. The Governor signed both bills on June 20, 2014.

A number of other measures related to sexual violence are also noteworthy, these include: H.R 7 and H.C.R. 12, which require a report from the University of Hawai‘i on the status of compliance with Title IX and Violence Against Women Act; S.B. 702, which creates a fund to support the investigation of internet crimes against children; H.B. 2038, which creates a fund to support services for victims of trafficking; and H.B. 1750, which makes it illegal to knowingly disclose an image or video of another in the nude or engaging in sexual conduct with the intent to harm.

 

Measures the SATC Supported that Passed:


HB2034 HD2 SD1 CD1: RELATING TO SEXUAL ASSAULT.

Removes the statute of limitations for criminal actions arising from sexual assault in the first and second degrees and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of fourteen years.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 27.


SB2687 SD1 HD2 CD1: RELATING TO LIMITATION OF ACTIONS.

Extends the period during which a victim of child sexual abuse may bring an otherwise time-barred civil action against the victim's abuser or an entity with a duty of care, including the State and counties.
Governor signed into law as Act 112.


SB2223 HD2 CD1: RELATING TO CHANGE OF NAME.

Allows the family court in a divorce proceeding to change the name of a minor child of at least one of the parties if it is in the best interest of the child.
Governor signed into law as Act 220.


SB702 SD2 HD2 CD1: RELATING TO CHILD ABUSE.

Establishes an Internet Crimes Against Children Special Fund. Establishes an Internet Crimes Against Children Fee for each felony or misdemeanor conviction. Requires deposit of fees collected and specifies order of priority for collection of fees. Appropriates funds.
Governor signed into law as Act 115.


HR7 HD1:

Requesting the University of Hawai'i to affirm its commitment to upholding the tenets of Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act 2013 (VAWA) and the University of Hawai'i's dedication to ending all forms of sexual violence on Hawai'i campuses through a report on the status of Title IX and VAWA policies, procedures, staffing, and statistics.
Resolution adopted in final form.


HCR12 HD1 SD1:

Requesting the University of Hawai'i to affirm its commitment to upholding the tenets of Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act 2013 (VAWA) and the University of Hawai'i's dedication to ending all forms of sexual violence on Hawai'i campuses through a report on the status of Title IX and VAWA policies, procedures, staffing, and statistics.
Resolution adopted in final form.


Other bills of interest:


HB1750 HD1 SD1 CD1: RELATING TO PUBLIC ORDER.

Expands the offense of violation of privacy in the first degree to include knowingly disclosing an image or video of another identifiable person either in the nude or engaging in sexual conduct without the consent of the depicted person with intent to harm substantially the depicted person.
Governor signed into law as Act 116.


HB2038 HD1 SD2 CD1: RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

Establishes the Human Trafficking Victim Services Fund to be administered by the DLIR to provide support and services to human trafficking victims, and establishes human trafficking victim fees to be imposed upon persons convicted of labor trafficking and prostitution offenses.
Governor signed into law as Act 119.


HB1993 SD2 CD1: RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

Requires a police officer to make reasonable inquiry of witnesses and the family or household member upon whom physical abuse or harm is believed to have been inflicted and order a no-contact period of forty-eight hours. Makes the commission of an act of physical abuse in the presence of a family or household member who is a minor under the age of fourteen a class C felony.
Governor signed into law as Act 117.


HB2243 HD1 SD1 CD1: RELATING TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS.

Allows qualified entities to conduct state and national fingerprint-based criminal history record checks on their applicants, employees, and volunteers who provide care for children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with disabilities, and to receive the results directly.
Governor signed into law as Act 196.


HR83:

Resolution encouraging female members of the United States Senate to reform military investigatory and prosecutorial systems governing sexual assaults. Resolution adopted in final form.


SR30:

Resolution encouraging female members of the United States Senate to reform military investigatory and prosecutorial systems governing sexual assaults. Resolution adopted in final form.

 

If you would like additional information regarding this legislative session or the SATC's public policy advocacy, please contact Justin Murakami, Policy Research Associate, at (808) 535-7600 or justin.murakami@kapiolani.org.