FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 1, 2018
Communications Director, End Rape On Campus
END RAPE ON CAMPUS OPPOSES UTAH’S INVOLUNTARY POLICE REPORTING BILL H.B. 254
WASHINGTON—End Rape on Campus (EROC) strongly opposes Utah Bill H.B. 254, which would result in involuntary police reporting for students in Utah. This harmful policy would redirect survivors to process their experiences of sexual violence with the police. Law enforcement often fail to process rape kits, to conduct interviews and investigations in a trauma-informed manner, or to conduct prompt investigations.
EROC Interim Executive Director Jess Davidson issued the following statement:
“Every survivor of sexual violence deserves numerous pathways to justice and healing and numerous reporting options. Many survivors wish to continue their education after experiencing sexual violence, and often need accommodations to help them do so, such as accommodations that prevent them from living in the same dorm as or going to class with their assailant. Not only can survivors often not access these accommodations through reporting to the police, but doing so may put survivors at risk of retaliation or further violence.
“We should advance public policy that respects the agency and self-determination of survivors. H.B. 254 would limit the options survivors have to address their unique needs at a time when survivors need more options and resources instead of less.
“Involuntary police reporting in cases of sexual assault overlooks the complicated histories of oppression between the police and disenfranchised groups of people, who often die at the hands of police. Immigrants, people of color, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) communities face more difficult and unsafe encounters with the police. Under this policy, many members of these communities would be discouraged from seeking justice altogether. H.B. 254 wouldn’t make students any safer, it will just reduce reporting.
“If H.B. 254 passes, it will discourage survivors from getting help. . This bill takes power and options away from survivors. Rape and sexual assault are the least reported crimes in the country and this bill will contribute significantly to already epidemic levels of under-reporting.”
End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @EndRapeOnCampus.