SPRINGFIELD- One in five undergraduate women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

CommitteepicturersTo combat campus sexual violence State Senator Scott Bennett advanced House Bill 821 to increase protections for Illinois students.

“We send our children to college to better themselves and obtain the necessary skills to move on to future careers and be successful. The last thing they should have to worry about is sexual violence,” said Bennett.

HB 821 creates the Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Act, which provides a roadmap to existing federal requirements and sets standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

This legislation requires all higher education institutions to do three things.

First, develop clear and comprehensive campus sexual violence plans to ensure there are guidelines to follow.

Second, notify student survivors about their rights and provide a confidential adviser to help them understand their options.

Lastly, colleges and universities are required to train students and employees and adopt a fair and balanced process to address allegations of sexual violence.

“Our number one goal is to end campus assault. However, if an attack occurs, clear and concise guidelines give victims a comprehensive path to report crimes and be notified of their rights,” said Bennett.      

House Bill 821 passed the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Justice and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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