OLYMPIA  (AP) — The Washington Senate passed a measure that seeks to protect victims of sexual assault in Washington state by removing a two-year limit protection order from the existing law.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill on a 43-6 vote Wednesday. A similar bill passed in the Democratic-controlled House last month.

Senate Bill 5256 would allow the courts to issue permanent protection orders for victims of sexual assault. Currently, victims of sexual assault can only be granted a protection order for up to two years, which means they must reappear in court to repetition for a new order.

In cases where a permanent order isn't issued, under this new measure the courts will grant a renewal of the order unless perpetrators can prove they are no longer a threat to the victim.

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