New laws, effective in 2020, include changes for drivers and sexual consent

The start of the new year brings some changes to North Carolina state law.

Most of the laws that took effect as of January 1, 2020, involve everything from addressing absentee ballot fraud to travel insurance.

It also marks the first big test of a law that was enacted in December, specifically to modernize sexual assault and abuse statutes.

Known as Senate Bill 199, it removed a loophole that said that consent for sexual activity couldn't be revoked once it was granted, along with making it a misdemeanor to know about abuse and not report it.

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The part that took effect on January 1, 2020, requires schools and other educational institutions to already have a program in place to combat child sex abuse and human trafficking.

"The statistics are very low for people to report sexual assaults and to get a conviction," Charlotte-based counselor Tiffany Shores said. "Legislation like this helps people be more comfortable."

The new law also extends a window for child sexual abuse victims to file civil claims.