Skip to main content

U.S. House passes bipartisan bill named for Minnesota sex assault survivor Abby Honold

Honold has become an advocate for sex assault victims since her 2014 rape.

A bipartisan bill named after a Minnesota sex assault survivor has passed in the U.S. House.

The bill, named the Abby Honold Act after the Minnesota native who was raped in 2014 while a student of the University of Minnesota, was introduced in the U.S. House in late 2017 by Rep. Tom Emmer, with the same bill proposed in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar.

It finally received a vote in the House on Thursday, with Honold's local representative, Rep. Ilhan Omar, among those co-sponsoring and speaking in favor of the bill.

"She has been a fierce champion of this initiative, and was the driving force behind the legislation that bears her name," Omar said.

On Twitter, Honold said: "I am ecstatic about this. This bill has been in the works since 2016, and it passed the House finally! It would establish a grant program for law enforcement to both receive trauma informed training and report back their results."

The bill introduced by Sen. Klobuchar in the Senate is still awaiting a vote.

What does the bill do?

The bill directs the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women to make competitive grants available to law enforcement agencies and victim services organizations, so they can introduce "evidence-based, trauma-informed approaches in responding to and investigating domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking."

Honold was critical of the response by local police when she reported her rape at the hands of serial rapist and fellow college student Daniel Drill-Mellum.

In the immediate wake of the attack, Honold said the investigator assigned to her case was dismissive during her interview, at a time when she was struggling to remember the exact details of the rape and remembered parts out of order – which happens commonly with victims of rape.

On Twitter this week, Honold – who is now a sex assault victim's advocate – wrote that after telling the detective she'd told her attacker to stop, he replied: "It doesn’t sound like you said the word ‘no’ - boys really understand the word no."

Her case was initially dropped by Minneapolis police, as the Star Tribune reports, until an officer with the University of Minnesota took up her case, ultimately leading to Drill-Mellum's conviction.

Honold was able to give a much better and clearer interview to a sexual assault nurse who examined her, and Honold believes that all sexual assault victims should be treated in that manner.

Also this week, Honold joined Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo as MPD announced it would be overhauling how it treats sex assault reports, so that priority is placed on the health of the victim.

You can read a full Twitter thread of Honold's experience by clicking the tweet below (trigger warning).

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.


One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.


Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.



U.S House passes 'For the People Act' in effort to expand voting rights

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces the challenge of the filibuster.

No charges to be filed against Chinese billionaire accused of sex assault

The Hennepin County Attorney said it couldn't meet the burden of proof.

University of minnesota sign

Police looking for suspect after sex assault on U of M campus

It happened in a parking ramp on Friday night.


Most of MN's U.S. House delegation vote for $2,000 payment to Americans

Six members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation voted for the measure.

U.S. House passes Walz's insider trading bill

The House of Representatives voted 417-2 in favor of Tim Walz's STOCK Act. It prevents lawmakers and staffers from trading stock based on nonpublic information. U.S. Senators passed its version last week by a vote of 96 to 3.

Dems seek to allow hijabs on U.S. House floor

All headwear is banned in the House under a 19th Century rule.

Police: U of M student sexually assaulted in dorm room

The 19-year-old was assaulted in a student room at Bailey Hall.