ANNAPOLIS - Del. Jon S. Cardin said he will introduce legislation requiring Maryland colleges and universities to publicly report all incidences of sexual assault on their campuses and to provide services for individuals harmed by these assaults.
Under the bill, confidential sexual assault surveys designed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission will be distributed to students to accurately capture the number and nature of sexual assaults on campuses.
Cardin said the legislation would also require each school to have a victim advocate on campus to objectively and confidentially aid individuals caught up in the trauma of sexual assault. He added that the legislation is necessary to keep women on campuses safe as 25 percent of college women are victimized by rape or attempted rape during college."
"The lack of substantial action on this outrageous epidemic of sexual assault represents a legal and moral failure on multiple levels," said Cardin in a statement. "That our colleges and universities are reporting significantly lower numbers than all other surveys should raise an eyebrow to anyone concerned about student safety. Colleges and universities have a duty to know exactly how safe their campuses are and to make this information public as well. When you send your kid off to college, you and your child deserve to know how safe their campus is."
Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat running for attorney general, also pointed out that a nationwide study recently released by Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER), graded more than 80 percent of U.S. campuses a C or lower in their responses to sexual assault.