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New Arizona law broadens protections for victims of sexual assault

(Flickr/Ted Eytan)

PHOENIX — A new Arizona law will allow more victims to get protective orders so they don’t have to work or study with people they have accused of sexual assault.

The sponsor of SB 1250, state Sen. Victoria Steele (D-Tucson), said she introduced the bill because she is a victim of sexual assault.

“When I learned that people do not have this protection, it was crystal clear this had to be changed,” she said.

Old state law would only allow judges to order injunctions to separate victims and their alleged attackers in schools or workplaces if they had been in romantic relationships.

The new law, which will take effect Dec. 31, covers alleged attacks by strangers.

“It’s a gap that I don’t think anybody knew was there, unless you had been raped, or if someone very close to you had been raped, like a loved one,” Steele said.

“It could prevent them from entering the survivor’s home, or workplace, or school,” she added.

“And it could also extend to other related parties who may feel the need for protection, like the victims’ children.”

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