Constructing on his profitable It’s On Us PA initiative, Governor Tom Wolf as we speak unveiled a four-bill bundle that can additional strengthen protections for college students and fight sexual assaults on campuses. The governor has made Pennsylvania a nationwide chief in addressing sexual violence and altering the tradition on campuses throughout the state.
“We have now made a whole lot of progress in combatting sexual violence and harassment in faculties, however we have to do extra to make sure all of our college students are protected,” stated Gov. Wolf. “These 4 legislative proposals are the subsequent step to stopping assaults and violence and making certain victims get the assistance they deserve.
“I commend the legislators becoming a member of me on this struggle and urge the management within the Basic Meeting to shortly take this laws up for a vote and ship it to my desk.”
The governor was joined at a capitol information convention by college students, legislators and the nationwide chief of It’s On Us, a motion preventing in opposition to sexual assault on faculty campuses for each women and men.
The governor’s four-bill bundle would:
Enact a ‘sure means sure’ legislation that requires all postsecondary establishments to have insurance policies withclear requirements of what’s and isn’t consent. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota and New York have comparable legal guidelines to guard each companions by making certain a mutual understanding. Faculties additionally will need to have sexual violence consciousness applications and agreements with native rape disaster facilities and home violence applications so survivors get the educational, residing and different lodging that may assist them keep at school. (SB 730, sponsored by Sen. Amanda Cappelletti and HB 1489, sponsored by Rep. Brian Sims)
“It’s crucial that we take steps to forestall sexual violence on campuses and extra absolutely help the victims when it does occur,” stated Sen. Amanda Cappelletti. “The invoice that I’m introducing with Senators Muth and Collett supplies clear requirements of what consent is, and isn’t, and would guarantee college students know the place they’ll entry sources within the occasion of an assault by requiring agreements with native rape disaster facilities and home violence applications. I’m glad we’re working collectively to comprehensively help the scholars of Pennsylvania.”
“Not solely do we have to significantly enhance the help for survivors of sexual assault, we want complete and inclusive training on consent,” stated Rep. Brian Sims. “Educating youngsters earlier than they arrive on faculty campuses is the primary manner that we are able to scale back the cases of sexual violence. The kids, younger folks and residents of Pennsylvania deserve it.”
Ari Fromm, a PA State Director for the Each Voice Coalition and College of Pennsylvania pupil added, “All too usually, pupil survivors are left on their very own to determine what they want, to assist themselves heal by trauma whereas additionally managing their training and all the pieces else that faculty entails. This is step one to addressing survivor dropout. This invoice is an opportunity to take motion.”
Strengthen protections for victims of on-campus crime by requiring the faculties to tell victims of their rights and providers and to offer protecting lodging or protecting measures, if requested by the sufferer. (SB 909, sponsored by Sen. Steve Santarsiero and HB 1699, sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback)
“Sexual assault and home violence stay an issue on faculty campuses,” stated Sen. Steve Santarsiero. “Our establishments of upper training have each the chance and duty to present help and affordable lodging to college students who’ve been the victims of sexual assault and home violence. My laws, Senate Invoice 909, would require schools and universities to tell college students of the rights, lodging, and protecting measures accessible to victims of sexual assault and home violence.”
“As a former educator and adjunct professor, that is a particularly necessary situation,” stated Rep. Karen Boback. “I joined the administration with the ‘It’s on Us’ marketing campaign by introducing laws to increase protections for victims of crime on faculty campuses throughout our Commonwealth. I stay up for seeing this laws transfer ahead, as October is Home Violence Consciousness Month as effectively.”
Educate center and highschool college students to know and forestall relationship violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking. Whereas the Crime Victims Act outlines necessities for expelling a pupil for an assault on college grounds, this invoice requires faculties to offer preventative training for college students in grades 7-12. This may assist college students to acknowledge and cease dangerous and harmful behaviors, relationships and conditions, and higher put together younger folks earlier than they arrive on faculty campuses. (SB 785, sponsored by Sen. Judith Schwank and HB 1490, sponsored by Rep. Jessica Benham)
“Pennsylvania has had success working with schools and universities to determine sexual violence reporting techniques that guarantee all college students really feel comfy coming ahead,” stated Sen. Judy Schwank. “Nevertheless, we have to proceed this work and begin addressing this situation earlier than college students attain faculty campuses. SB 785 would require faculties to show seventh by twelfth grade college students to determine and forestall relationship violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking to assist equip younger folks with these necessary expertise. These measures are proactive and can permit Pennsylvania to proceed to make progress on this situation.”
“It’s on all of us to ensure that each pupil, no matter who they’re, feels protected and guarded on their campus, in addition to throughout the Commonwealth, and has the sources and help they should succeed,” stated Rep. Jessica Benham.
Create a job pressure to review sexual assault, relationship violence, home violence and stalking in grades 6-12 and postsecondary establishments. The Joint State Authorities Fee would conduct the examine to raised perceive pupil experiences and enhance response efforts. (SR 122, sponsored by Sen. Vince Hughes and HR 108, sponsored by Rep. Carol Hill-Evans)
“The adoption of the ‘It’s on Us’ marketing campaign has been a brilliant spot for combatting sexual assault and relationship violence at postsecondary establishments throughout the Commonwealth,” stated Sen. Vincent Hughes. “Sadly, the shortage of uniform requirements has led to an uneven and inconsistent response amongst establishments of upper training. The Basic Meeting must undertake Senate Decision 122 in order that we might enhance efficiency and set up constant responses to sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, home violence and stalking.”
“As a society we should perceive the bodily, psychological, and emotional toll the trauma of sexual assault has on every particular person,” stated Rep. Carol Hill-Evans. “That’s the reason in June I launched HR 108, which directs the Joint State Authorities Fee to conduct a examine on the affect of sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, home violence and stalking on Commonwealth college students enrolled in grades 6 by 12 and past. We merely should start having these discussions earlier in our college students’ academic expertise with the hope of getting a constructive affect as they transition to postsecondary establishments and thru life. Thanks to Governor Wolf for his statewide initiative following the nationwide It’s On Us marketing campaign to contain everybody in stopping sexual assault.”
The primary a number of weeks of the autumn semester is usually known as the “Pink Zone” when sexual assault will increase, particularly amongst freshman girls.
In line with the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), there are greater than 418,000 victims of sexual violence underneath age 18 in Pennsylvania. Nationwide, one in three feminine victims expertise rape between the ages of 11 and 17 and one in 4 male victims experiencing rape earlier than the age of 10.
“I’m proud to face right here as we speak with Governor Wolf, Pennsylvanian College students, and the legislators who will carry these payments within the Pennsylvania Legislature,” stated Tracey Vitchers, govt director, It’s On Us. “These payments would strengthen the rights of scholars, and require schools and universities, in addition to Okay-12 faculties throughout the commonwealth to do higher by our youth and younger adults. By passing these crucial items of laws we are going to make strides to forestall sexual assault and defend the rights of pupil survivors throughout the commonwealth.”
“The Pennsylvania Coalition Towards Rape is grateful to hitch Governor Wolf in help of survivors of campus sexual assault. The It’s On Us legislative bundle will assist strengthen sexual assault prevention and response on faculty campuses all through the state and guarantee college students impacted by sexual assault and abuse have entry to the help of rape disaster facilities,” stated Karen Baker, CEO, Pennsylvania Coalition Towards Rape.
Defending college students from violence and shifting to prevention methods has been a precedence for Gov. Wolf. After taking workplace the governor launched It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide marketing campaign to forestall assaults on campus.
In 2019, the governor signed two main legal guidelines from his It’s On Us marketing campaign. The legal guidelines require schools to offer an nameless on-line possibility for college students to report sexual assaults and safety for college students reporting sexual assault from being disciplined for violating college drug, alcohol or different insurance policies.
The governor has additionally offered $5 million in It’s On Us grants to 190 private and non-private post-secondary faculties to assist change the tradition on campus. The Division of Training is accepting applications for grants up to $30,000 through October 20, 2021.
Governor Wolf invitations everybody to take the It’s On Us PA pledge and play a job in ending sexual assault.
It’s On Us is a nationwide initiative began by former President Barack Obama and then-Vice-President Joe Biden to lift consciousness about sexual assault; instructing contributors that assault consists of non-consensual intercourse, advising them on how one can determine harmful conditions, empowering them to intervene, and urging them to create an setting of help for victims and survivors.