Home House passes bill to aid victims of assault, protect students on college campuses

House passes bill to aid victims of assault, protect students on college campuses


virginia-newThe House of Delegates on Tuesday passed legislation to aid victims of assault and to protect students on college campuses.

House Bill 1785, introduced by Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Henrico), requires campus police to notify the local Commonwealth’s Attorney of a victim-initiated investigation within 48 hours. House Bill 1928, introduced by Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle), adds certain additional violent misdemeanors to the state DNA database. House Bill 1930, also introduced by Del. Rob Bell, requires colleges to provide independent counseling services to victims and to inform them of all their legal options, requires mandatory reporting of sexual assaults where necessary to protect the health or safety of the public, and requires that all cases be confidentially reviewed by a team that includes law enforcement.

Speaking about the campus safety legislation, Del. Jimmie Massie said, “The legislation passed by the House today takes important steps to keep young men and women safe on our college campuses. House Bill 1785 will better coordinate campus investigations with local law enforcement. We listened to the concerns of victims’ advocates that mandatory reporting to the police could discourage students from reporting assaults. I believe this legislation strikes the right balance to improve the campus and law enforcement response without discouraging victims from coming forward.”

Del. Rob Bell said, “House Bill 1928 adds certain violent and sexual crimes that have a high propensity of recidivism to be included in the state DNA database to make it easier for law enforcement to identify and quickly apprehend suspects. House Bill 1930 improves the safety of our college campuses while also ensuring that victims are provided with counseling services and informed of all legal options.”

Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) said, “This legislation will better support victims of assault on Virginia college campuses and make them safer. It will give law enforcement additional tools to bring offenders to justice and improve the response from our college and universities to sexual assaults and other acts of violence.”



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