Maryland gov signs 'no means no' sex assault bill

Maryland gov signs 'no means no' sex assault bill
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Sexual assault victims will no longer need to prove that they physically fought back against their attackers in order for the incident to be characterized as rape after a new bill was signed into law in Maryland on Tuesday.

The measure, known by advocates as "no means no," changes the state’s legal definition of rape.

"Sexual assault survivors will no longer be forced to choose between keeping safe or having access to justice," said Lisae Jordan, executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, according to BuzzFeed News.

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"'No' will mean 'no' and the law will back them up.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed the bill Tuesday, along with measures that require rape kits to be preserved for at least 20 years, the Washington Post reported.

“Making Maryland safer begins with making sure that we have a criminal justice system that holds offenders accountable for their actions and the harm they cause, while also supporting victims and the community in the process of healing,” the governor said in a statement, according to the Post report.

"We are extremely proud to have worked with our partners in the legislature to pass these important measures to protect our most vulnerable Marylanders and bring criminals to justice.”