Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act (S.O.S. Campus Act), legislation that would require colleges and universities to establish an independent, on-campus advocate to support survivors of sexual assault.
“Victims of a sexual assault need to know someone is there for them, especially the learning institute they have entrusted their future to,” said Congresswoman Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “This advocate will provide victims with the critical support they will need when dealing with such a traumatic event.”
“Survivors of sexual assault deserve an advocate who will fight for them every step of the way,” Senator Boxer said. “Our bill, which has been endorsed by the University of California, will help encourage more victims to come forward and report these heinous crimes. I will work with my colleagues to pass this important bill and other broader legislation to end the epidemic of violence on our nation’s campuses.”
The legislation would require every institution of higher education that receives federal funding to designate an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response. This advocate would be responsible for ensuring that survivors of sexual assault – regardless of whether they decide to report the crime – have access to:
Emergency and follow-up medical care
Guidance on reporting assaults to law enforcement
Medical forensic or evidentiary exams
Crisis intervention, ongoing counseling and assistance throughout the process
Information on their legal rights
The advocate will also conduct a public information campaign on the campuses.
The bill is supported by the University of California, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Women’s Law Center, Break the Cycle, Jewish Women International, the American Association of University Women, Futures Without Violence and Savannah Badalich, Founder of UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault.