Bennett advances bill to create the Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Act

State Senator Scott Bennett, D-52, advanced House Bill 821 Wednesday to help combat sexual assault.

According to a press release from the Illinois Senate, Bennett advanced the bill in order to give more protections to Illinois students. Bennett, the chief sponsor of the bill, said he experienced many sexual violence proceedings in a campus setting firsthand while working as a prosecutor in Champaign County, many of the cases coming from the University.

The bill creates the Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Act, which will set standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence. If enacted, the act would require all higher education institutions in Illinois to develop campus sexual violence plans, notify student advisers about their rights, train students and employees and adopt a fair process to address allegations of sexual assault.

He said his hope is to create a minimum standard across the board for legal proceedings regarding sexual violence on campus.

“(We want) all the universities in state to be acting on a consistent basis,” Bennett said.

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The bill is moving to the full Senate for consideration as it just passed the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Justice.

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