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Blumenthal: Sexual assault bill a good start but doesn’t go far enough

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Photo by Hugh McQuaid)
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Photo by Hugh McQuaid)

HARTFORD, Conn. – As Gov. Dannel P. Malloy prepared Monday to sign legislation aimed at improving how universities respond to sexual assaults, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he supports the legislation but it does not go far enough.

Blumenthal held a press conference in Hartford to announce what he is calling a “Bill of Rights” for the victims of campus sexual assault. It’s a set of proposals the senator is hoping to see included in legislation. The ideas come from a report his office put together after hosting roundtable discussions at seven Connecticut colleges and universities.

“As good and important as the bill is, it goes only part way in providing rights that would be included in the ‘Bill of Rights,” he said. “. . . I commend the governor for supporting and signing it, and as I mentioned earlier the legislators who supported it, but a ‘Bill of Rights’ — contained in statute, codified in law at the federal level — is absolutely necessary to protect Connecticut students as well as others, millions around the country.”

Blumenthal’s report seeks to address many of the same institutional concerns as the bill passed unanimously this year by the state legislature and which Malloy was expected to sign Monday. Both seek to ensure that victims have clear access to support services and an option to confidentially report incidents. Both require schools to establish a trained sexual assault response team.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

Comments

One response to “Blumenthal: Sexual assault bill a good start but doesn’t go far enough”

  1. Suzanne

    A couple of the provisions of this “new” law proposed by Blumenthal as reported by CT News Junkie:

    “Both (legislation already passed by the State of CT and Blumenthal’s proposal) seek to ensure that victims have clear access to support services and an option to confidentially report incidents. Both require schools to establish a trained sexual assault response team”

    “The report also calls for sexual assault prevention efforts to begin well before students reach college. The proposal recommends age-appropriate education on “respect for other, healthy relationships, and consent” to begin during the middle school and high school years.”

    These same provisions were proposed and adopted when I was in college in California, hate to say it, decades ago. Did the higher education communities somehow forget that confidentiality in sexual assault cases exist and is necessary? I find both of these proposals archaic and sad. When did sexual assault become a public matter? Maybe with social media? And when did we stop educating out children that “No means No”, that overwhelming another with unwanted physical acts is not OK?

    An appropriate effort, I suppose by CT government, but simply ridiculous in the scheme of sexual awareness and abuse that these would again be necessary.

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