Legislation aimed at addressing the growing incidence of campus sexual violence passed the House and now heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.
Senate Bill 5518, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, would establish a uniform process for investigations and disciplinary proceedings related to sexual violence at institutions of higher education.
The bill also mandates campus violence assessments to gauge the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. Institutions would report their findings and include plans to conduct sexual violence awareness campaigns.
“I am particularly disturbed when I hear about young college students who have been sexually assaulted,” said Kohl-Welles. “Just as disturbing is hearing how many of them feel voiceless, fear retaliation and don’t know where to turn for help after the assault. I have introduced this legislation to give victims a voice and to promote a campus environment that works hard to prevent assaults.”