Lady Gaga and Governor Andrew Cuomo have teamed up to push for legislation challenging the rise of sexual violence at universities across the United States. Lady Gaga, who was sexually assaulted at age 19, has joined forces with Gov. Cuomo, who introduced the bill last year. The powerful pair is hoping to convince New York State lawmakers to adopt the legislation against sexual assault on college campuses before the jurisdictive session ends on June 17th. If passed, the law will be the strongest of its kind in the nation.
In 2014, every public university in New York State was mandated to adopt Gov. Cuomo’s policy against sexual assault. However, private colleges do not have to follow the same guidelines, leaving students at private institutions vulnerable. The proposed bill would extend a far-reaching sexual assault prevention and response policy to all universities in New York State, whether private or public.
The regulatory action is based on an existing law that has previously been implemented in California and places emphasis on four key ideas:
- Affirmative consent language
- Immunity from drug or alcohol violations for students reporting an assault
- Bill of rights for the victim
- Policy training for all school officials
According to SAAM’s 2015 Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign Brochure, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college and more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault (National Sexual Violence Resource Center). In the words of the Governor of New York himself, “Enough is Enough.”
To report a sexual assault on a New York college campus to the State Police, call the dedicated 24-hour hotline at 1-844-845-7269. In an emergency, call 911. For confidential support resources, call the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906. In New York City, call 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) or dial 311.
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