When I was sexually assaulted by a classmate during my first year in college, I thought that reporting to the police would help me feel safer. But the police told me that if I tried to press charges against my assailant, my traumatic experience would be made public -- so I decided to wait. I wasn’t ready for my friends and family to know what had happened to me. I tried to press charges again a year later, and had to go through many grueling interviews before the police told me that they no longer believed my story. After everything, I was forced to continue attending school with the person who had assaulted me.
If I had known then what I know now, I never would have gone through the shameful and traumatizing process of reporting to the police. But a group of lawmakers are pushing a bill that will force survivors to do just that. Misleadingly called the SAFE Campus Act, this bill would prevent colleges from punishing a student who rapes another student unless the victim reports the attack to the police.
Sign to tell Congress not to make our campuses unsafe for survivors by passing this harmful bill.
We know from survivors across the country that if forced to report to the police, the vast majority would choose not to report their assault at all. Only a fifth of the rapes reported to the police lead to the attacker being prosecuted; particularly in cases where the survivor knows their attacker, reporting to the police can cause violent – or even fatal – retaliation from their rapists.
For undocumented students who might be afraid of deportation, or students of color who experience police violence at disproportionate rates, going to the police is often the last thing that they would do to feel safe after an attack.
If this bill passes, schools will be able to punish students who cheat on a test or beat up a classmate, but not students who rape, unless the victim goes through a lengthy and difficult criminal process. That means rapists will be free to continue roaming campus and putting all students at risk.
We can’t let this happen.
Please stand with survivors calling on Congress to oppose this bill and keep our campuses safe.
Don't force survivors of sexual assault to go to the police. Vote NO on the Safe Campus Act.
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