Lawmakers seek to change 'paradigm' of sexual violence on college campuses
Citing a campus culture that "stigmatizes survivors, not the perpetrators," state Sen. Kevin de León announced today new legislation that would require colleges and universities to adopt "victim-centered" response protocols and prevention measures for dealing with sexual violence.
"Sexual assaults are just too common and we need to fundamentally change that," the Los Angeles Democrat said at a press conference. "This isn't about boys being boys. This is about men, young men, teenage boys being sexual predators. There is nothing casual about this."
The bill, co-authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, would establish "affirmative consent" as the standard for determining whether consent had been given by the complainant in a campus investigation.
It would also develop policies to encourage greater protection and services for victims, as well as education and intervention in the broader campus community.
"It seems sexual assault is treated as an inevitable part of the college experience, and instead of fighting to change it, schools simply overlook it," Jackson said. "We're here to change that paradigm."
Lowenthal noted that one in five female college students will be sexually assaulted but fewer than half will report the crime, calling it a "crisis." ...