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Bill in Iowa Senate Seeks to Help Victims of Sexual Assault

DES MOINES, Iowa - There's a bill in the Iowa Senate that would allow for victims of sexual assault to file a no-contact order against their attackers.

You read that right - as it stands, Iowa law does not allow for victims to file no-contact orders against attackers in assault cases unless the victim had some sort of relationship to their attacker.

"I know it sounds crazy, but it's actually not something a victim of sexual abuse can get in Iowa right now," said Tiffany Allison, founder of Soaring Hearts Foundation, a group dedicated to ending sexual assault and violence statewide. "If you're a victim of sexual abuse, your perpetrator would have to be arrested and convicted, in order for you to obtain a no contact order. And the problem is that most rape or sexual abuse goes unreported. They don't go to law enforcement and report it, and a lot of times, even if they do, the perpetrators are not prosecuted for any number of reasons."

Senate File 22  would allow for these victims to feel safe from their attackers with a no-contact order. One woman from Algona, Chloe Cumberland, is hoping her story of assault will help persuade lawmakers to act.

"So, anybody, unless you are in a relationship, you have a child, you were in a relationship, you were married, or you are separated, or something like that - you are not allowed to get one," Cumberland said.

Cumberland posted to Facebook with her story - it went viral.

"I was actually really surprised, I didn't think it was going to blow up as big as it did," she said.

Cumberland and Allison are two women representing many in the state who want to see this law passed.

"I mean, it's the same story that you hear every other day," Cumberland said. "'Oh, somebody was sexually assaulted. Oh, it was just swept under the rug.'"

Getting lawmakers to support this bill is now the main focus - and they're asking you to call your senator and urge support.

"It's happening to someone that you know," Allison said.