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PR: SAVE Deplores Orwellian Claims Surrounding California Campus Sex Bill

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Deplores Orwellian Claims Surrounding California Campus Sex Bill

WASHINGTON / March 25, 2014 – Senate Bill 967, which would impose an “affirmative consent” standard on sexual activities at California colleges, has attracted national attention. SAVE believes that campus sexual assault is a problem that deserves greater attention. Since its inception, however, the controversial California bill has been surrounded by exaggerated and inflammatory claims that bear little relationship to the truth, SAVE says.

When Sen. de Leon introduced his affirmative consent bill on February 10, he highlighted reports in the Los Angeles Times that Occidental College had withheld 27 sexual assault cases from its Clery Act reports:

But a March 14 LAT editorial retracted the newspaper’s prior claims, noting that the 27 unreported incidents “did not fall under the law’s disclosure requirements:”,0,1134632.story#axzz2wHq5eFQN

De Leon has insisted his bill would reduce the number of campus sexual assaults. But his bill would not require assault cases to be reported to law enforcement authorities, meaning many rapists would be expelled from college, but not imprisoned. SAVE believes mere expulsion to be a woefully inadequate punishment for rape.

Dramatically expanding the definition of sexual assault would result in many more cases being processed by campus disciplinary boards. As a result, real victims will encounter longer delays and greater skepticism from university investigators, SAVE predicts.

Without offering evidence, de Leon claimed that current campus culture “stigmatizes survivors, not the perpetrators.” Given that media accounts typically name the accused but not the accuser, SAVE believes most stigma is placed on the accused, whether or not he is actually guilty of the alleged assault.

“The measure will change the equation so the system is not stacked against the survivors,” de Leon claimed, apparently unaware of the irony that civil rights experts say his bill would create a “vicious double standard” against the accused:

“The California bill was inspired by a policy that was tried at Antioch College in the 1990s. Student enrollments declined, and Antioch was forced to close its doors,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “We can only imagine what would happen if a similar misguided policy is imposed on California colleges.”

See SAVE’s Ten Steps to Turn Any Student into a Sex Offender:

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments—SAVE—is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: