Sexual assaults on college campuses have sadly become more and more common. In the past few years, universities across the country have struggled with cases of sexual assault. Unfortunately, quite a few assault cases on college campuses, in California and across the country, are mishandled. Assault victims and, in some cases, alleged offenders, are often left feeling like they were not properly advocated for and protected.
Now, California lawmakers are considering a group of proposals aimed at simplifying and standardizing the process of universities handling sexual assault cases.
Federal law requires that universities take immediate action with cases of violence, harassment, and discrimination. California lawmaker Das Williams, the author of many of the new proposals, says that universities across the country have failed at creating safe campuses. Williams says the state of California has a responsibility and an obligation to ensure safe learning environments, and that these proposed measures are a big step in the right direction.
The proposals are all aimed at standardizing how universities in California handle sexual assault cases. One proposal would mandate that all public universities note on students’ transcripts if a student is ineligible to enroll due to prior suspension or expulsion. Another would help community colleges in California become better trained and more efficient at handling sexual assaults on their campuses. The proposals, if put into effect, would apply at any California colleges and universities, both public and private, that receive government funding for student financial aid.
Advocates for the proposals say that colleges and universities are responsible for handling sexual assault cases in a clear and thorough manner and that every student should have campus officials as a resource to turn to. Oftentimes, victims of sexual assault on campuses choose not to inform law enforcement agencies out of fear of stressful court cases, so having trust in university officials dealing with assault cases efficiently is necessary.
Opponents to the measures argue that schools are under-resourced, and are not trained enough to handle these serious cases. They claim that more often than not, college officials fail to properly handle cases of sexual assault, and say that decisions made by campus officials are not reliable. Too often these types of cases involve drinking or drugs, leading to hazy memories, and often involve no witnesses. Opponents argue that it is best to leave these important cases to law enforcement officials.
The proposed bills are being discussed by lawmakers this summer. If you or a loved one has been involved in a sexual assault case in California, having a qualified Bay Area criminal law attorney by your side can be crucial. Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today.