|Posted:||August 30, 2017 12:50 PM|
|From:||Representative Madeleine Dean|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||It's On Us - Amnesty Policy for Reporting of Campus Sexual Assault|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that requires colleges and universities to provide amnesty to those who come forward about sexual violence that they have experienced or witnessed. This legislation is a part of a package of bills that aims to combat campus sexual assault under the Governor’s “It’s On Us” initiative.
A vital part of providing a good education is ensuring that everyone is safe at school and on college campuses. Yet, in the United States, one in five women, and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
Sadly, most instances of sexual violence go unreported to campus officials or to the police. The silence of bystanders is an obstacle to overcoming this scourge. Beyond the difficulty of coming forward itself, victims and Samaritans should not fear further punishment for incidental infractions.
It is crucial to remove what obstacles we can, so that students are less afraid to come forward and give voice to their assault, and to protect others.
Under this legislation, colleges and universities must implement and disclose policies that provide amnesty to victims or witnesses who report sexual assault. Individuals acting in good faith would not need to fear punishment for incidental code of conduct violations, such as drinking, in connection to the reporting of sexual assault.
New York and Minnesota have passed similar legislation, and several Pennsylvania institutions have already implemented amnesty policies. Please join me in supporting efforts to make this a statewide policy, and help make the scourge of campus sexual assault a thing of the past.
Introduced as HB1757