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Campus sexual assault survivors fight for justice

March 5, 2018

City Council

Published by:

City Council

New state legislation is aimed at increasing students' safety on campus and providing additional resources for survivors of sexual assault.

State Representatives Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Lori Ehrlich introduced House Bills H.632 and H.4159, "An Act Demanding Justice for Massachusetts Campus Sexual Assault Survivors," to increase students' safety on campus and provide additional resources for survivors of sexual assault. The legislation will ensure that the Obama-era requirements under Title IX, which offers guidance to federally-funded colleges and universities for “swiftly and appropriately" handling campus sexual assault, will not only stay in place, but are made stronger than ever.

Councilor Pressley said, “For those of you who think the number one reason that people drop out of colleges is financial stress – the number one reason they drop out is sexual assault, the trauma that occurs and the fact that it is very painful to have to see your perpetrator on campus over and over again.”

The Council adopted a Resolution urging the State Legislature to support H.632 and H.4159. The bill would require colleges and universities in Massachusetts to continue conducting research-based sexual misconduct surveys, provide ongoing prevention, education and training programs for students, and assemble review panels tasked with implementing and monitoring campus response networks.

Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be victims of sexual violence on college campuses.