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7/14/2016 Bill granting amnesty from alcohol charges to those reporting sexual assault signed into law
STATE HOUSE — Legislation introduced by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) to address the problem of sexual assault on college campuses has been signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The law (2016-H 7865, 2016-S 3092) requires institutions of higher learning to adopt a policy which grants amnesty for violations of drug/alcohol policies for those who report incidents of violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.

“The signing of this law is an important step forward in fighting the problem of assault on campus,” said Representative Ackerman. “Less than 5 percent of campus sexual assault is reported to college or law enforcement authorities. Since so many of the cases go unreported, it’s created a culture of rape in many colleges and universities, where perpetrators believe there will be no consequences. All they have to do is hunt for their next victim.”

To address the problem, Representative Ackerman led a House commission to study sexual assault on college campuses. After hearing testimony from victims, advocates, law enforcement officers and college administrators, Ackerman introduced this legislation to address one of the issue’s greatest stumbling blocks: fear of reporting the assault.

Americans were reminded recently of just how widespread the problem of sexual assault on campus is when a student from Stanford University was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman on campus last month. That student was apprehended by two witnesses and is currently serving a jail sentence.

As the governor signed the bill into law, Representative Ackerman said she was gratified to see that a dialogue has been opened about sexual assault.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903