SPRINGFIELD - The Senate gave final approval today to a measure that will prevent and ensure proper response to sexual assaults that occur on college campuses.

“Schools should be prepared to respond to sexual assaults immediately, which means helping survivors understand their reporting options, access health care or even provide alternate housing options,” Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “We must do everything in our power to protect students and respond with every single resource at our disposal. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated anywhere.”

While there have been efforts at the federal level to deal with the issue of sexual violence on campuses, universities have been left with a patchwork of recommendations and proposals without clear guidance on how they can reduce the incidents of violence on their campuses and effectively deal with the aftermath of sexual assaults.

With an alarming one in five undergraduate college women becoming victims of rape or attempted rape, Senator Hutchinson teamed with Attorney General Lisa Madigan on ensuring colleges develop a clear, comprehensive campus plan for dealing with sexual violence. The plan ensures victims have help immediately after an attack, including confidential advisers who can guide them to medical and legal resources while also focusing on often-overlooked issues, such as orders of protection and situations where housing and class schedules need to be changed.

House Bill 821 passed the Senate today unopposed and will now head to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to the governor for his signature.

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