SB 493: Protect Student Survivors

September 8. 2020


The Trump Administration’s new Title IX rules will make it even harder for students to report sexual harassment or assault, and will make the investigation process re-traumatizing with requirements like live cross-examination. Student survivors should be helped by their schools when they report sexual violence, not retraumatized with further disruptions to their education. (Already, 1 in 3 college student survivors end up dropping out.) Black women, Latina, and trans students will be disproportionately harmed by new rules, as they experience the highest rates of sexual assault and harassment in college.

Help protect California college students from these federal attacks on their civil rights. SB 493 would require California state-funded colleges and universities to adopt common-sense, trauma-informed, fair, transparent, consistent processes for responding to reports of sexual assault and harassment in a way that protects students’ civil rights by ensuring they maintain equal access to their education. Key provisions include:

  • Make reporting clear and accessible;
  • Implement transparent procedures for investigating and deciding complaints to ensure a fair and equitable process for both parties;
  • Prohibit direct cross-examination of either student (complainant or respondent) and ensure protections for both parties in the hearing process;
  • Provide trauma-informed training to school officials involved in investigations, as well as training on implicit bias and the history of institutional racism and racial inequities in school disciplinary processes;
  • Investigate reports of sexual harassment and assault, regardless of whether they took place on or off campus; and
  • Use the preponderance of the evidence standard in determining whether a respondent student is responsible.

Visit bit.ly/SB493action to email and tweet at CA Governor Gavin Newsom now to sign this crucial bill into law!

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