LOS ANGELES, California –
In a first for the nation, the city of Los Angeles is seeking to remove the stigma surrounding rape by decriminalizing it. Lawmakers say they hope the move will not increase the rate of rape, but allow people to speak more freely about it.
“Because it has been a crime, people would not talk about rape,” said LA county commissioner Jerry Peck. “Women who were raped wouldn’t bring it up. Men who were rapists didn’t mention it to friends or colleagues. No one was talking about it. Rape was a dirty little secret. This new decriminalization will hopefully end the secrets.”
Los Angeles is the first city and county in the country to make move towards decriminalizing rape, but they aren’t stopping with only sexual assault.
“Assault in general is a crime to hide. Men would hit women, and then just claim they walked into doors,” said Peck. “It was sickening the things that go on behind closed doors. We are hoping that making sure it’s no longer a crime will allow people to open up about beatings and assaults.”
County legislature will vote on the issue on Monday. They are expected to pass the measure into law effective January 1st.