JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Legislation that is now set to become law will ensure young people have more instruction on sexual violence and consent.
The provision was originally sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder and included in HB 1606, which was signed into law by Gov. Parson on Friday, July 13.
Rehder's language, which was originally written by students, would require schools that offer sex education courses to include instruction on sexual violence, sexual harassment and consent.
"It's imperative that we do everything we can to protect our young people from harm and a huge component to that can be achieved by arming them with the knowledge they need to recognize unhealthy situations," said Rehder, R-Sikeston.. By adding this information to our traditional sex education courses we can empower young people to make good decisions and to also help protect their family and friends from abuse.
Rehder and supporters of the bill have said it's an important change that will ensure young people have an improved understanding of what constitutes sexual abuse and a better ability to recognize abuse.
"We are very excited to hear the news about the Missouri legislation, I think it's going to have a huge impact not only on the numbers that we see but the number of people in total who will feel comfortable reaching out for help," Donna St. Sauver, the coordinator of the violence prevention program at Southeast Missouri State University said.
With the governor's signature, the bill and Rehder's language are now set to become law on August 28.