CHICAGO – To prioritize the safety and well-being of college students in Illinois and across the country, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring a measure calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration to stop their attempts to roll back important protections for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses.

“Like a typical Washington insider, Secretary DeVos is putting her political loyalty for a misguided administration over the safety and security of our students,” said Harper. “My resolution is a proactive step Illinois can take to urge the Trump administration to reconsider their ideas.”

Harper is supporting House Resolution 550, which urges Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to keep in place Obama-era guidelines that obligate universities to combat sexual assault and harassment under Title IX. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college, and about 10 percent of survivors actually come forward to report the crime. That is why Harper is stressing the significance of ensuring that schools respond effectively and compassionately to the needs of survivors.

“President Obama’s 2011 requirements put the onus on universities to install better protections for survivors, allowing them to feel like their voices could be heard without fear of retribution from either their college or assailant,” said Harper. “Sexual assault can be prevented when universities, survivors and their advocates, law enforcement and others come together to create safe places for everyone to understand why sexual assault will not be accepted or tolerated on our campuses, or anywhere else, anymore.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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