NEW YORK – Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, D-California, joined Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, met student leaders and advocates Oct. 27, to seek new ways to tackle what they contend is the poor handling of reporting sexual assault cases on college campuses nationwide.
Maloney and Khanna are working on a bill to better track sexual assaults on college campuses through a standardized, national survey, and the meeting also discussed Title IX protections for student victims.
“It’s my honor to join Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, advocates, and students today in recognizing the severity of campus sexual assault. I thank everyone for their advocacy, enthusiasm and drive for justice,” Rep. Khanna is quoted saying in a press release.
“With 1 in 5 women experiencing sexual assault in college, we are failing miserably at ensuring that every student has equal access to a higher education,” Maloney said.
“Unfortunately, efforts to address this epidemic have been severely hampered by a lack of clear, consistent data. That is why Rep. Khanna and I are now working on legislation to create a national, standardized campus survey to better collect information about sexual assault so we can make informed policy decisions to address this widespread problem,” she added.
Khanna said that every 98 seconds, someone in the country is sexually assaulted, and that he stood with Rep. Maloney and most importantly, the survivors, “in taking the first step toward a solution — creating a nationwide college campus survey to improve information and data collection about sexual assault.”
Both Maloney and Khanna had called for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on “stealthing,” or non-consensual condom removal, earlier this month as Maloney is the House sponsor of H.R. 1949, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA), which Khanna co-sponsored. Khanna was also the first member of Congress to endorse the recall of the judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, according to the press release. Turner was a former student and swimmer at Stanford University convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault. Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months, a sentence that resulted in public protests and calls for Persky’s dismissal from the bench.
Maloney also authored the Campus SaVE Act, which was signed into law in 2013 and requires colleges to increase awareness through public disclosure of assault incidents, prevention information campaigns and providing assistance to institutions to implement these requirements.
The press release also outlined steps to expand Campus SaVE.