Lawmakers hope to do away with secrecy around naming those accused of sexual assault
Pennsylvania lawmakers are pushing for new legislation to end non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual assault and harassment.
This introduction of Senate Bill 999 comes amid an influx of high-profile sexual harassment cases nationwide.
Senator Judy Schwank (D., Berks) is the sponsor of the bill that would ban these types of agreements in the Commonwealth.
Senator Anthony Williams (D., Delaware and Philadelphia) is a proud co-sponsor, saying he has a personal connection to this issue in particular.
"I have unfortunately heard of experiences of relatives. I have two daughters, who are in the workplace today, who I worry about every day about this occurring," he says.
Williams says he and other legislators want to do away with the secrecy within these cases. The bill would ban agreements that prohibit public disclosure of names of the accused.
It will protect the accuser's identity while naming the harasser. Williams believes this is an important step in ending these types of cases.
He hopes by making this law in Pennsylvania, more survivors will know they are protected in Pennsylvania.
"No one should ever feel like they're alone or suffering in silence. Now there's a chorus across this nation of women who, since my great grandmother, women and some men who've had to live with the shame, and the protection of the powerful who continue to go on and be pedophiles upon others," Williams says.
The bill was just introduced. Williams believes it will have further bipartisian support and move quickly through the halls of the capital.