Lisa Madigan calls for law requiring colleges to develop sex assault response plans
Attorney General Lisa Madigan brought together college administrators, law enforcement and victim’s advocates Monday to discuss sex assaults on college campuses.
CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey was there and explains why Madigan is pushing for new a law.
Statistics show one in five college women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape. It can take years to prosecute their attackers.
“The hardest call I’ve ever had to make was to my dad when I was sitting in the hospital… to tell him that his oldest daughter had been raped her first week of college,” said Julie Dixon.
That incident happened years ago. Dixon is now a victim’s advocate encouraging women to speak up like she did.
“He pleaded guilty to lesser charges, but that took 20 months,” Dixon said.
And it’s slow response time Lisa Madigan wants to change on Illinois college campuses and universities.
“If we are able to improve our response, we’re able to improve our resources, we will ultimately reduce the tolerance for these types of crimes taking place on our campuses,” Madigan said.
Madigan wants a new law passed requiring colleges and universities, among other things, to develop a plan to deal with sexual assaults on campus including:
- An on-campus confidential advisor available for victims.
- A clear process to investigate sexual assault allegations.
- Allowing victims easy transition if they want to change housing or classes to avoid an alleged assailant.
One administrator CBS 2 talked to says colleges work every day to make the reporting process easier.
“The challenge is providing, I think, a diversity of responses because not every survivor is going to want to do the same thing,” said Rebecca Gordon, UIC Title Nine Coordinator.
Lisa Madigan says she wants the new law passed during the spring session.
The Cook County Sheriff’s office tells CBS 2 in an effort to increase sexual assault reporting, they will start in May training on-campus first responders.