Rep. Susan Davis, who represents California's 53rd District. Official photo
Rep. Susan Davis, who represents California’s 53rd District. Official photo

Rep. Susan Davis (D-53) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) jointly introduced legislation in the House and Senate Wednesday that would require colleges and universities to establish an independent, on-campus advocate to support survivors of sexual assault.

“Victims of a sexual assault need to know someone is there for them, especially the learning institute they have entrusted their future to,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “This advocate will provide victims with the critical support they will need when dealing with such a traumatic event.”

“Survivors of sexual assault deserve an advocate who will fight for them every step of the way,” Boxer said. “Our bill, which has been endorsed by the University of California, will help encourage more victims to come forward and report these heinous crimes. I will work with my colleagues to pass this important bill and other broader legislation to end the epidemic of violence on our nation’s campuses.”

The Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act, or S.O.S. Campus Act, would require every institution of higher education that receives federal funding to designate an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response. This advocate would be responsible for ensuring that survivors of sexual assault – regardless of whether they decide to report the crime – have access to:

  • Emergency and follow-up medical care
  • Guidance on reporting assaults to law enforcement
  • Medical forensic or evidentiary exams
  • Crisis intervention, ongoing counseling and assistance throughout the process
  • Information on their legal rights

There has been growing outrage nationally at incidents reported at some of the nation’s most prestigious schools, including Brown University, Amherst College and Vanderbilt University.

Davis’ 53rd District includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of San Diego, El Cajon, and Chula Vista.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.