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Gillibrand introduces bill to combat sexual assualt on college campuses

Ryan Delaney
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). -File Photo

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand helped introduce a bill Wednesday to combat the high rates of sexual assaults on college campuses.

Current statistics show nearly twenty percent of females who attend college are sexually assaulted. But critics say universities and colleges often provide either incomplete or false data. 

The new legislation would punish schools for falsifying that data while also requiring every school to release results of an anonymous student survey about assaults. 

Senator Gillibrand says these steps are vital.

“Currently accurate reporting makes a school an outlier because no school wants to be alone in admitting such a serious problem. With this bill, underreporting will have stiff fines and real teeth,” said Gillibrand.

Gillibrand says the legislation is also important because it forces schools to provide confidential advisors to victims and forbids athletic departments from handling sexual assault cases themselves.

“We are going to lift the burden of solving this problem from off the shoulders of our survivors and placing it firmly on those of our colleges and universities,” she said.

Earlier this year, GIllibrand attempted to take sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command but her effort was defeated. 

The legislation to combat sexual assaults on college campuses is co-sponsored by three Democrats and four Republicans in the Senate.