This week was announced a package of bills aimed at addressing issues that impact Delaware women.
The package of legislation will focus on updating state laws where reform is needed. Some of the bills being unveiled address issues related to public safety and health care. Among the bills that are being introduced include:
– Advocate Confidentiality
Delaware is one of only four states with no law addressing a victim’s confidentiality with a counselor or advocate in a case of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. This bill would state that counselors and advocates may not disclose certain victim communications without written consent.
– Remote Testimony
This legislation would allow, at a judge’s discretion, a victim or witness to appear at required court proceedings and give testimony via video-conference from a separate location.
– Statewide Rape Kit Audit
This Joint Resolution would mandate that the Department of Justice oversee an audit of all untested and un-submitted sexual assault kits in Delaware. This resolution also establishes a work group tasked with creating systemic changes to ensure proper testing of all sexual assault kits in the future.
– Postpartum Depression Resources and Education
Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services currently has a broad network for the identification and treatment of postpartum depression, including a list of service organizations across the state. However, this list is not available for doctors to distribute to patients. This legislation would require physicians to educate prenatal patients and families on the warning signs and symptoms of postpartum depression.