|Posted:||March 21, 2019 11:59 AM|
|From:||Representative Dan Frankel|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||It's On Us - Online and Anonymous Reporting|
|Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 20 men will be a victims of sexual assault during their time in college. What’s more alarming, 90 percent of these crimes go unreported. Statistics show that women in their first year of college are the most vulnerable to these crimes.
As lawmakers, it’s on us to ensure that Pennsylvania’s campuses are safe, and that the system for reporting these crimes is conducive to justice and healing.
This bill would require postsecondary institutions to offer online and anonymous reporting options for students and employees. Anonymous online reporting alerts campus police of a possible crime while at the same time serving as an early point of contact, when a victim can learn about the steps required to file a formal report.
Anonymous online reporting, widely recognized as a best practice for reporting sexual violence on campus, meets students where they’re at. When victims review their options, there is a high likelihood they’re doing it from the palm of their hand. Allowing victims the opportunity to file a report from a mobile device will help increase the likelihood that these crimes will be reported, thus protecting others from harm.
Under this legislation, anonymous reporting would not take the place of an officially filed report in mandating the initiation of an investigation.
This bill is part of Governor Tom Wolf’s “It’s on Us PA” initiative, which helps create awareness about campus sexual assault, supports survivors, encourages bystanders to intervene, and teaches consent. Please join me in co-sponsoring this meaningful legislation.
Introduced as HB1496