|Posted:||March 27, 2019 11:33 AM|
|From:||Representative Tina M. Davis and Rep. Maria P. Donatucci|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Safe Campuses Act|
|Sexual assault and intimate partner violence are serious and significant problems today on college and university campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five women and six percent of men experience attempted or completed sexual assault during their college years. This is a legitimate public health issue that deserves our full, undivided attention as policymakers. This bill is a part of the overall PA Agenda for Women’s Health.
Our legislation would establish the Pennsylvania Safe Campuses Act, which would require all post-secondary schools, colleges and universities in this Commonwealth to adopt policies and establish programs to make students, staff and officials aware of the risks of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. These institutions would be required to report each year the number of instances of sexual assault and intimate partner violence on campus, along with the security policies they have established to deal with these issues. Such reports would be a public record that must be posted on the school’s website.
This legislation would also mandate that schools establish and implement a sexual assault and intimate partner violence policy that informs students, employees and officials of the rights of victims and the responsibilities of witnesses to such acts. Further, schools must offer a program on prevention and awareness of sexual assault and intimate partner violence for all students and employees. In addition, the Attorney General’s office could bring an action against an institution of higher education to compel compliance with these requirements, and such action could lead to civil penalties for the institution.
We believe this legislation creates an important framework for combating the epidemic of sexual assault and intimate partner violence on our college and university campuses. Please join us in taking a serious and thoughtful approach to this issue as we seek to protect the health and safety of the women and men at these institutions.