(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement regarding the ceremony today to celebrate the adoption of Connecticut’s new law to strengthen campus sexual assault prevention and response procedures:
“Connecticut is leading the nation in enacting tough, responsible legislation to stop the pernicious spread of sexual violence on college campuses. I have listened to hundreds of Connecticut survivors, campus leaders, law enforcement officials and advocates, and the resounding, unified cry across campuses statewide has been for stronger rights for victims and more robust programs to support survivors and educate all students to prevent future assaults. This state bill is a powerful step forward in responding to those needs, but more must be done on a federal level to ensure the safety and rights of all students nationwide, regardless of what state they attend college. That is why I am fighting for federal action to help change our national culture and to assure all survivors of campus sexual assault that we are on their side in preventing and punishing this terrible crime. I commend the Higher Education committee co-chairs, Senator Steve Cassano and Representative Roberta Willis along with CONNSACS and many others for their steadfast commitment to making our campuses safer,” Blumenthal said.
Earlier this month, Blumenthal issued a report calling for a College Sexual Assault Bill of Rights. The report was the culmination of a series of statewide roundtables Blumenthal hosted on campus sexual assault at seven colleges and universities across Connecticut. More than 450 college administrators, faculty, students, advocates, and law enforcement officials participated in the roundtables, which were organized with the help of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS).
The report details what steps must be taken at the federal, state, and campus level to ensure that more survivors are empowered to report their assaults and to provide for expeditious, fair adjudication of reports. Blumenthal is working with Senate colleagues to develop legislative proposals that would codify these rights at the federal level. These proposals would also establish accountability standards for schools and provide resources for schools to meet these standards.