NJCASA believes that bodily autonomy reigns paramount and that consent is essential. Both A5643 and A5646 serve as good first steps in ensuring that victims of crime aren’t denied autonomy over their bodies while the courts pursue criminal or civil accountability for perpetrators. Given recent incidents that highlight problematic ideologies of a small, select number of members of the Judiciary, it’s clear that there’s still work to be done to ensure “judicial discretion” doesn’t conflict with victims’ rights.
NJCASA believes in a trauma-informed, survivor-centered approach to helping victims pursue healing and justice. The potential that a court could order a gynecological exam and hold the victim in contempt if they don’t comply is highly concerning – even if the chances of this occurring are extremely rare. We look forward to continuing our work with the sponsors in support of our shared vision of a safer, more equitable New Jersey.