Senate Takes Up Bill that Would Punish Colleges for Screwing Up Campus Rape Cases

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) / REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) / REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Eighteen-year-old Anna went off to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York last year, where she says she was raped 16 days into her freshman year.

A medical examiner’s report found blunt-force trauma, possibly from multiple partners, and a witness described seeing her passed out in the back of a dance hall being raped by football players while others watched or took photos.

The football players denied the allegations, and the school cleared them of wrongdoing 12 days later, before the results of the rape kit were complete.

One of the first people Anna called was her mother, Susan.

“There are really no words to explain what a parent goes through when they get a phone call like that,” Susan told reporters yesterday. “It is hard to convey what this means to the families out there, because their child has been assaulted, harassed, retaliated against and have been made to feel lost and powerless.”

(NPR doesn’t identify the names of those who may have suffered sexual assault.)

A bipartisan group of senators is aiming to change that. On Wednesday the lawmakers introduced legislation meant to stem the shocking number of sexual assaults on American college campuses. Studies show 1 in 5 women is raped or assaulted while pursuing a degree.

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SOURCE: Laura Sullivan
NPR

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