Sexual Assault Victim Ordered to Pay Alimony to Attacker Fights to Change California Law


"I think it's a case of putting common sense on the books," Dumanis said. "We see that the law needs to be changed, and we're going to make sure it's changed."

Crystal Harris has gone public with her story in the hopes of getting the California law passed. Assemblywoman Toni Atkins introduced the legislation that would keep any victim of violent sexual crime perpetrated by a spouse from having to pay alimony to the abusive former spouse.

Last month, Harris told her story before the judiciary committee of the California State Assembly. The bipartisan committee passed the bill with one dissenting vote from Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski.

"I understand it's an unpopular position to take and my sympathy goes out to Ms. Harris," Wieckowski told the judiciary committee. "But bad facts can make for bad consequences in the law and I am seriously concerned about adding these crimes."

The bill will head to the Assembly floor for discussion. If passed, it will be forwarded to the state senate.

Most rape victims are shielded from public view, but Crystal Harris said she needed to step out of the shadows.

"It takes a real person, a real victim to show her case, show her face, and lobby and get the law passed one step at a time," Crystal Harris said. "It could happen to another woman."

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