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Lawmakers pass bills to combat sexual assault through education

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia lawmakers have passed two bills that would help fight sexual assault and dating violence through education of the youth.

House Bill 659 would require high school family life education to start teaching and educating high school students about dating violence and sexual violence.

In addition, lawmakers passed bill that would focus on trauma training for victims.

Woman in fear of domestic abuseHouse Bill 1102 directs the Department of Justice Services to develop multidisciplinary curricula on trauma informed training protocols.

After hearing stories from victims dealing with sexual assault, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn decided to present legislation that would help combat the issue.

Gil Harrington, whose daughter Morgan was abducted and murdered in Charlottesville in 2009 was in Richmond Friday to speak about the passing of the bills.

"I don’t think that predatory behavior is destined and it’s engrained in your DNA. I think it’s a choice,” Harrington said.

Gil Harrington

Gil Harrington

Harrington said she and her husband are putting their focus into helping save the next girl and preventing predatory violence.

“House Bill 659 and 1102 are valuable tools in that important work. We want to spare other families the grief and anguish that we have experienced. Schools provide our kids with a lot of information that will ensure their success. House bill 659 will provided them with information that will ensure their very survival, she said.”

Now that the bills have passed both houses of the General Assembly, they are headed to the governor’s office to become law.