The Missouri House Committee approved a bill that would require the board of each public higher education institution in Missouri to have a procedure in place on how tohandle sexual assult cases on campuses.
The bill would require all higher education schools in Missouri to engage with law enforcement agencies and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding concerning sexual assault,domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
Supporters say that this bill would help institutions of higher education work better with law enforcement and develop policies and procedures that are best for the
community and the student population.
In a national survey on how colleges report and investigate sexual violence, over 30 percent of law enforcement said they recieved no training on how to respond to reportsof sexual assults on campus. Over 70 percent of institutions in the nation do not have officials protocols regarding how their campus and law enforcement work togetherwhen sexual violence happens. An even more shocking statistic from the same report, less than five percent of all students who are raped report the attack to law enforcement.
State Representative Sheila Solon says that, “when you’re not having them investigated when you’re not having them looked at we’re not protecting our students.”
So why has it taken so long for a bill to be brought up? According to State Representative Sheila Solon, “there is a bill on the federal level but on a state level there is not.We need to protect our students to make sure that law enforcement works hand in hand with when sexual assault happens on campus.”
House bill 1678 will reach a rules committee next, and if it gets passed it will reach the house floor.ABC 17 reached out to the speaker pro tem’s office and no official date has been set on when the bill will reach the house floor.