Warning: this story talks about rape and sexual assault. 

ALBANY, NY (WENY)--FOR twelve YEARS LAWMAKERS IN ALBANY HAVE TRIED TO RE-DEFINE THE RAPE STATUTE. TUESDAY, THEY FINALLY ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL WATCHING GOV. HOCHUL SIGN THE RAPE IS RAPE ACT INTO LAW.  

“We are here to give survivors the resources so they can do the same and that they can seek the justice that for decades they couldn’t get,” said Assembly Member Catalina Cruz (D-Assembly District 39).

THE CURRENT STATUTE DEFINES RAPE AS VAGINAL PENETRATION. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF RAPE HAS FOR A LONG TIME MADE IT DIFFICULT TO PROSECUTE SEXUAL OFFENDERS.  

BUT THE NEW law EXPANDS THIS DEFINITION TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL FORMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE INCLUDING ORAL AND ANAL SEXUAL CONDUCT.  

“If we refuse to call something what it is, we as a society refuse to say rape is rape, we invalidate survivors, trivialize their pain and ultimately intensify their trauma--that somehow what they went through is less serious. It’s time to right this wrong,” said Gov. Hochul. 

THE GOVERNOR ADDed RE-WRITING THIS LEGAL DEFINITION ALSO HELPS THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY, WHOM SHE EMPHASIZES HAVE FACED TOO MANY INJUSTICES.  

ASSEMBLY MEMBER CRUZ SAid THIS NEW LAW IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A CHANGE IN WORDS.  

“It’s a systematic shift on how we think about who is a rape victim, and who is a rapist,” she said. 

THIS NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT immediately.