In this Feb., 17, 2022, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, leaves a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

A proposal supported by Maine’s Republican senator to protect the rights of sexual assault and harassment victims has become law.

The proposal takes aim at forced arbitration. It is designed to stop people who commit sexual assault and harassment from using such pre-dispute agreements to push victims into private arbitration proceedings, Republican Sen. Susan Collins said.

Collins said the pre-dispute agreements are used to prevent survivors from taking their cases to court. She said the new law will “prohibit arbitration clauses that prevent survivors of sexual violence from pursuing justice in the forum of their choice.”

President Joe Biden signed the bill into law recently. It was originally introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and was supported by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.