EVP Office Advocates for Survivor’s Bill of Rights

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ASUCI’s Office of the Executive Vice President is currently advocating for a Change.org petition for UCI to adopt a Survivor’s Bill of Rights, which would grant students who have experienced sexual or dating violence further protection, rights and support services from the campus.

The bill would offer 11 specific rights for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

The bill requires schools to guarantee survivors dignified treatment, access to respectful services, transparency, promptness and fairness during the investigative processes and no blame. This would prevent college officials from questioning victims about whether they: fought hard enough, were wearing appropriate clothing or were intoxicated during the incident.

It was drafted following the 67th national congress of the United States Student Association last summer at UCI. Addressing campus sexual assault was one of the campaigns that came out of the congress.

USSA members compiled the Survivor’s Bill of Rights as an attempt to gain formal, institutional support by university campuses as well as federal and state governments toward survivors of sexual violence.

The bill asks for campuses to treat cases of sexual and domestic violence seriously and execute appropriate sanctions. Administration should recognize sexual assault as serious, violent offenses and take necessary actions, such as removing the offender from all campus activities and grounds.

It also asks that victims’ names be kept confidential on crime and incident reports as to not pose further threats to them. According to the bill, students should be provided help from competent professionals who have been specifically trained on how to handle cases of sexual assault. Additionally, the bill calls for consistent contact between survivors and officials working on their investigations. Survivors should also be allowed consistent contact with the officials relevant to the investigation or campus resources.

“We want to be treated with respect, given the proper help that we need, and not be slut-shamed,” said Taylor Chanes, an organizing director with the EVP office.

Although UC Irvine has already implemented several points of the bill, further prevention and awareness is essential. In a recent campus panel about UCI’s collaborative response towards sexual violence, Lt. Joe Reiss of the UCI Police Department shared statistics and reports about UCI-related sexual assaults.

“We average about five sexual assault rapes per year. In the last four years, we averaged (at) about five, and they were all non-stranger sexual assaults on campus,” Reiss said.

As of last October, UC Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Southern California were part of 85 schools with pending investigations for violating Title IX laws, which recognize the rights students have against discriminatory actions and sexual assaults.

While UCI respects a policy for affirmative consent and exercises a collaborative response toward campus sexual violence, students are still pushing for broader institutional and social progress is still essential.

“We want to deconstruct the social stigma that is around rape,” Chanes said.

ASUCI’s Office of the Executive Vice President is currently advocating for a Change.org petition for UCI to adopt a Survivor’s Bill of Rights, which would grant students who have experienced sexual or dating violence further protection, rights and support services from the campus.

The bill would offer 11 specific rights for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

The bill requires schools to guarantee survivors dignified treatment, access to respectful services, transparency, promptness and fairness during the investigative processes and no blame. This would prevent college officials from questioning victims about whether they: fought hard enough, were wearing appropriate clothing or were intoxicated during the incident.

It was drafted following the 67th national congress of the United States Student Association last summer at UCI. Addressing campus sexual assault was one of the campaigns that came out of the congress.

USSA members compiled the Survivor’s Bill of Rights as an attempt to gain formal, institutional support by university campuses as well as federal and state governments toward survivors of sexual violence.

The bill asks for campuses to treat cases of sexual and domestic violence seriously and execute appropriate sanctions. Administration should recognize sexual assault as serious, violent offenses and take necessary actions, such as removing the offender from all campus activities and grounds.

It also asks that victims’ names be kept confidential on crime and incident reports as to not pose further threats to them. According to the bill, students should be provided help from competent professionals who have been specifically trained on how to handle cases of sexual assault. Additionally, the bill calls for consistent contact between survivors and officials working on their investigations. Survivors should also be allowed consistent contact with the officials relevant to the investigation or campus resources.

“We want to be treated with respect, given the proper help that we need, and not be slut-shamed,” said Taylor Chanes, an organizing director with the EVP office.

Although UC Irvine has already implemented several points of the bill, further prevention and awareness is essential. In a recent campus panel about UCI’s collaborative response towards sexual violence, Lt. Joe Reiss of the UCI Police Department shared statistics and reports about UCI-related sexual assaults.

“We average about five sexual assault rapes per year. In the last four years, we averaged (at) about five, and they were all non-stranger sexual assaults on campus,” Reiss said.

As of last October, UC Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Southern California were part of 85 schools with pending investigations for violating Title IX laws, which recognize the rights students have against discriminatory actions and sexual assaults.

While UCI respects a policy for affirmative consent and exercises a collaborative response toward campus sexual violence, students are still pushing for broader institutional and social progress is still essential.

“We want to deconstruct the social stigma that is around rape,” Chanes said.

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