Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-30-14

Maryland Considers College Sexual Assault Reporting Bill

A Maryland House of Delegates committee heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would require all state universities and colleges to administer an anonymous sexual violence survey every three years to more accurately determine how many assaults are occurring on campuses and then report those findings to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The legislation, sponsored by Del. Jon Cardin (D), would give both university and state officials a clearer picture of whether sexual assault prevention efforts are working, advocates said yesterday. Three campus rape survivors, including Feminist Majority Foundation Online Communications Associate Lauren Redding, testified to the committee, arguing that universities need to more aggressively tackle sexual assault prevention and reporting.

"Statistics show us that eight out of 10 of survivors don't report their assaults to the university or police," said Redding, a University of Maryland alumna. "So we really don't have an accurate picture of how many rapes are happening and whether or not universities are allocating resources appropriately to truly eradicate this problem. Survivors typically want to tell people what happened, but don't out of fear of being blamed. This anonymous survey would give them a safe outlet to do so. "

Opponents of the legislation -- including officials from Towson University, Frostburg State University and the University System of Maryland -- said the survey would be a waste of resources and is unnecessary, because universities already have reporting practices in place. However, administrators were unable to tell the committee how much total funding is spent on prevention programs and exactly how many assaults were reported last year.

Victims Rights Law Center Fellow Nancy Cantalupo, who first approached Del. Cardin about the survey idea, also testified in favor of the legislation. According to Cantalupo, a similar survey at the University of New Hampshire that students weren't mandated to fill out still had a 40 percent response rate.

Media Resources: CBS Baltimore 1/29/2014; The Diamondback 5/11/2014, 1/30/2014


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion. In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Obama Administration Issues New Rule to Strengthen Response to Campus Sexual Violence - The Obama Administration announced a new rule last week to more effectively address sexual violence on college campuses by increasing transparency around campus disciplinary proceedings involving sexual violence and establishing rights for survivors within those proceedings. The new rule, announced by the Department of Education, implements changes to the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid in the United States to publicly report crime information. . . .