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Buck-Taylor Co-Sponsors Legislation Bolstering Resources for Sex Assault Victims

April 18, 2014

HARTFORD — Legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Cecilia Buck-Taylor and approved in the House of Representatives today will give victims of sexual assault and stalking on college campuses clear and concise information on their rights and options for reporting such crimes.

Under the bipartisan legislation (H.B. 5029) colleges and universities must also establish a campus resource team that will function as an advisory panel that would create education program for students, faculty and staff. The proposal also requires schools to develop relationships with community providers that specialize in either domestic or sexual violence, such as the Danbury Women’s Center.

“Administrators and investigators at universities and colleges should take every possible step to make certain that victims of these horrible crimes are empowered to report them,” said Buck-Taylor, who served on the board of directors for the Danbury Women’s Center. “This legislation goes a long way toward encouraging victims to share their stories without fear of inaction, shame, or reprisal.”

Sexual violence on campuses made headlines when University of Connecticut students this year testified before legislators, contending that school officials weren’t helpful when they reported crimes.
The proposal, approved unanimously in the House, builds on tougher regulations enacted in 2012 that required schools to establish policies and regulations regarding sexual assaults. The legislation voted on Thursday mandates that colleges and universities treat stalking in the same manner. The proposal goes beyond federal standards.

One in five women on college campuses experiences sexual assault, according to statistics cited Thursday by Higher Education committee leaders.

“I’m proud to be a part of this swift and strong legislative effort, and this bill again shows that Connecticut continues to be a leader in pushing regulations that help victims,” Buck-Taylor said. “These types of crimes are deeply traumatic, and talking about them is no small decision. When a victim decides to do that, it’s critical that there’s a properly trained person there to listen.”
The legislation would also allow for anonymous reporting.

It awaits action in the state senate.