campuswalkingSPRINGFIELD- One in seven undergraduate women will become a victim of assault or rape, according to a new study released this month by the Journal of Adolescent Health.  

Out of 483 women who participated in the survey, more than 18 percent reported instances of attempted rape. Alarming results reveal most instances occur within their first year of their college experience.   

To combat campus sexual violence, State Senator Scott Bennett passed House Bill 821 to increase protections for Illinois students.

“The college experience should inspire our young people. It’s our duty to put protections in place to ensure students are leaving college feeling empowered and ready to tackle the world,” said Bennett. “This legislation will move us in the right direction to prevent sexual violence.”

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 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 with unanimous support.

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