'Kayleigh's Law' aims to provide victims of sexual assault permanent restraining orders

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MADISON Wis. (CBS 58) -- Victims of serious crimes including sexual assault and kidnapping could ask for a lifetime restraining order under a new bill.

The proposal called 'Kayleigh's Law' is part of a nationwide effort to provide permanent protections to victims.

Kayleigh Kozak is a survivor of sexual assault and once she learned her abuser's probation was lifted, she was shocked her protections were no longer in place. She said this began her journey to encourage state legislatures to support legislation that would allow victims to ask for a lifetime order of protection.

"No victim should ever have to reface their abuser to fight for the protection they rightfully deserve," said Kozak. "It provides survivors of sexual and domestic abuse the continued protection they deserve."

Kozak was joined by State Rep. Barb Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc) during a press event Wednesday, July 21, to introduce the bill.

Under current law, a restraining order lasts up to four years for an adult and two years for a child. The orders can be extended if there is a substantial risk to the survivor.

Dittrich's bill would allow victims of sexual abuse as well as individuals who are at risk the option to ask a judge for a lifetime retaining order.

"This is simple, but critical legislation that just makes sense," said Dittrich. "It's a fix (in state law) to afford that permanency of the restraining order so someone doesn't have to face their assailant again."

A similar bipartisan bill was signed into law by Arizona's Governor Doug Ducey in April. Arizona became the first state in the nation to offer these protections to victims.

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