SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill into law that gives hospitals authority to summon counselors for victims of sexual assault.

Senate Bill 978, authored by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, requires medical providers to notify local rape crisis centers about victims who come in for treatment after an assault, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, who supported the bill.

Before the bill's passage, only law enforcement was required to notify rape counselors of a sexual assault. Under the new law, counselors will be immediately available to victims who have not disclosed what happened to police, according to the district attorney's office.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684.



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