Rape Survivors Relieved As Ga. Campus Sexual Assault Bill Stalls | WABE 90.1 FM

Rape Survivors Relieved As Ga. Campus Sexual Assault Bill Stalls

Mar 24, 2017

 

A controversial bill that would require Georgia colleges to report campus sexual assaults to law enforcement stalled Thursday in the state Senate.

 

The bill has been vigorously opposed by rape survivors and groups advocating for them. They say mandating police reporting would discourage survivors from coming forward.

 

“This bill, no matter how many times you fix it, will never be more than another person trying to silence rape victims,” said Grace Starling, a survivor who’s organized against HB 51. She was one of many who spoke out against the bill.

 

Senate judiciary committee member Greg Kirk was the first to suggest the bill wasn’t ready to move forward.

 

The committee voted unanimously to table the bill, just days before the session is set to end.

It was an emotional victory for opponents of the bill, including attorney Lisa Anderson.

 

"None of us want anybody to be wrongly accused. None of us want anyone to hurt when they don't need to be hurt. So it's a very important day," she said, adding that those opposed to the bill would continue to fight similar measures in the future.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, has argued he wants to defend the rights of students falsely accused of sexual assault. He told the committee he’d work to continue the conversation.