The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses in our country has gained a lot of media attention in the last few months. Many high-profile cases have illustrated not only how many campuses handle cases involving rape and incidences of sexual assault, but how poorly these cases may be handled, leaving victims typically feeling as if justice has not been served.
As some of our more frequent readers know from reading the article we linked to in a June post, cases of sexual assault are a major problem on college campuses. Sometimes though, cases never get reported, as a victim may be too scared to come forward or involve police. Acknowledging that this could be a factor is whether justice is served or not, some lawmakers are taking a stand by pushing for legislation that could change how college campuses handle sexual assault cases down the road.
Referred to as the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, this new piece of legislation aims to find a balance between victims’ rights and due process by giving victims the option of involving law enforcement in sexual assault cases or allowing the school to handle it. The hope is that by giving victims the choice, it will encourage more to come forward about instances of sexual assault and violence so that it can be addressed and hopefully remedied.
Just weeks ago, at the end of July, hearings were held by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to discuss the bill. Though it has not made any headway through the legislature since this time, some across the nation, including many of our Pennsylvania and New Jersey readers, hope that Congress will see the benefit of passing this piece of legislation, particularly because it will afford more protections under the law, thereby empowering rape and sexual assault victims to seek legal remedy after an incident.