OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Legislature has passed a bill that would allow the courts to issue permanent protection orders for victims of sexual assault.
The Democratic-controlled chamber passed the measure on a 75-22 vote Thursday. Since the measure had previously passed the Senate, it now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Under current state law, protection orders for victims of sexual assault last up to two years.
Senate Bill 5256 would also allow a respondent to not have to forfeit their firearms or weapons indefinitely if they can prove to the court they’re no longer a threat to the victim or others.
As of 2015, 28 states allow sexual assault civil protection orders, according to the American Bar Association. Of those, at least two allow them to be permanent — Colorado and Montana.