FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/14/2015
Rep. Nevárez Files Bill to Address Sexual Assaults on College Campuses
Austin, TX – With sexual assault numbers rising on college campuses around Texas, Representative Poncho Nevárez has filed HB 699, which is intended to ensure that the state university systems are enforcing these sexual assault policies on their respective campuses. This bill will make it mandatory for each university system to review and approve their sexual assault policies each biennium to ensure that student safety is a priority on campus.
"This is not an issue the State should take a blind eye to," Nevárez states. "Since we cannot prevent this entirely, we must put statutes in place to protect our students and create awareness for this type of situation."
In recent years, research suggests 1 in 4 college students will be victims of sexual assault each year, yet the vast majority of the cases go unreported. Concerted efforts by university officials and national leaders to raise awareness, along with a number of recent high-profile cases, have driven the issue into the spotlight. These efforts convey valuable information showing that 16-24 year olds experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence, in which 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
"Universities must continue these efforts to educate these young individuals on this issue without hesitation and the legislature must be assured the university systems are doing their due diligence in conveying the facts," says Nevárez.