Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Require On-Campus Advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors

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Washington, DC, March 19, 2015 | comments

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation in the House to establish an independent advocate on campus for sexual assault survivors. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Senate bill last week.

The Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act requires higher education institutions receiving federal assistance to create an Independent Advocate for Campus Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.

“The S.O.S. Campus Act will create a critical resource for sexual assault survivors – an advocate who will be looking out for their rights and interests,” said Rep. Davis. “This will encourage more survivors to come forward and help create an atmosphere on campuses that these crimes will not be tolerated.”

The independent advocate would guide sexual assault victims who request assistance with:

  • Information on how to report the assault to law enforcement
  • Getting emergency medical care
  • Crisis intervention counseling, and ongoing counseling
  • Obtaining legal services

The services may be provided on campus in consultation with a rape crisis center, legal organization or community-based organization.

It would also raise awareness on its services and prevention.

The bill also prohibits the retaliation, discipline, or penalizing a victim of sexual assault for reporting an assault to the independent advocate.

Last year, following a letter from Senator Boxer and Congresswoman Davis, University of California President Janet Napolitano and California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White agreed to voluntarily implement provisions of the legislation by establishing an independent, on-campus advocate on every campus.

The S.O.S. Campus Act is supported by the University of California, California State University, National Women’s Law Center, Victim Rights Law Center, Jewish Women International, Break the Cycle, the American Association of University Women, Legal Momentum, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Futures without Violence, the Association of Title IX Administrators, and Savannah Badalich, Founder of UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault.

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