HARRISBURG – With October being designated as national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny/Washington) has been very active in helping to put a stop to this criminal act in Pennsylvania.
“Domestic violence is violent or aggressive behavior within the home,” said Mihalek. “For many, home is a place of love, warmth and comfort. It is somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support and a nice break from the business of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary.”
In April 2019, Mihalek’s legislation designed to better protect victims of crime and abuse was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Act 24 of 2019
expands the rape shield law to cover prior sexual victimizations. In addition, the law also expands the number of crimes to which the rape shield law would apply to cover additional sexual crimes such as human trafficking, incest, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, sexual abuse of children and the sexual exploitation of children.
Mihalek also authored legislation that would prohibit defendants from using a human trafficking victim’s past sexual victimization and allegations of past sexual victimization as “evidence” in any prosecution related to human trafficking. House Bill 2174
passed the House in January 2020 and is now waiting for consideration in the Senate.
Currently, Mihalek is working with her House colleague, Rep. Anita Kulik (D- Allegheny), on House Bill 588
, also known as Alina’s Law. The legislation would enhance victim security by amending the Protection From Abuse (PFA) system. The bill is with the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
Alina’s Law is named after Alina Sheykhet, a University of Pittsburgh student who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2017. She had a PFA order against him, but that didn’t protect her from his attack.
“I am committed to improving the quality of life for all residents in the 40th District,” said Mihalek. “Life is too beautiful to live it trapped and abused and hiding under the shame of it all. I am fighting for your rights.”
Representative Natalie Mihalek
40th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner