May 15 2019
Washington – Today, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to introduce legislation to help provide support for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses. The Survivor Outreach and Support on Campus Act (S.O.S. Campus Act, S.1483) would require colleges and universities to have an independent advocate available to support survivors of sexual assault on every campus. The S.O.S. Campus Act is also cosponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin.
The legislation would require every institution of higher education that receives federal funding to designate an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response. This advocate would be responsible for ensuring that survivors of sexual assault have access to:
- Emergency and follow-up medical care
- Guidance on reporting assaults to law enforcement
- Medical forensic or evidentiary exams
- Crisis intervention, ongoing counseling, and assistance throughout the process
- Information on their legal rights
Local rape crisis centers and other community-based organizations are currently providing many of these services in communities and on campuses around the nation. The legislation recognizes the importance of these partnerships by requiring that universities either consult with or partner with these organizations to ensure that survivors get the services they need. The advocate will also conduct a public information campaign on the campuses.
Representative Susan Davis is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives today. Kaine has introduced earlier versions of this legislation in previous Congresses.
You can view the bill text here.