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Politics

Campus Sex Assault Bill Approved Despite Concerns

Utah lawmakers passing controversial bill encouraging universities to involve police during sexual assault reports.
utahstatecapitol.utah.gov
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Utah lawmakers passing controversial bill encouraging universities to involve police during sexual assault reports.

A panel of Utah lawmakers is approving a campus sexual assault bill despite concerns that encouraging colleges to alert police to serious cases could keep victims from reporting assaults.
Rep. Kim Coleman pointed Thursday to Utah cases where women reported assaults only to find school officials already knew about multiple allegations against the perpetrator and didn't stop them. She insists that should never happen.

Victim's advocates, though, say automatically involving police could take control away from sexual assault victims and discourage them from reporting assaults.
Mara Haight with the Rape Recovery Center says for many victims, even the chance their allegations could be given to police without their express permission could keep them from reporting the assault at all.
The plan now goes to the full Utah House for consideration.