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State And Federal Leaders Addressing Problem Of Sexual Assault On Indiana College Campuses

Indiana House Democrats

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is taking steps to address sexual assault on college campuses.

The commission held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the issue with representatives from Indiana's colleges and universities, sexual assault prevention advocates and elected officials. .

Indianapolis Democratic Representative Christina Hale was among them. As a member of the state legislature, Hale has already made inroads to address the issue. Along with her colleagues, she amended Indiana's Lifeline Law to grant students amnesty from legal action if they cooperate with local law enforcement in cases of sexual assault. 

She says it's important to include the higher ed Commission in on the conversation because there is so much work to be done.

"They said so many important policies statewide that impact students' daily lives," says Hale. "It's kind of like generals in battle back in the war room - they need to know what's happening on the battlefield firsthand."

Rachel Green is a student and sexual assault awareness advocate at Indiana University. She says students need to know that policymakers are really trying to make a difference.

"Coming to this sort of meeting really brings the issue a lot of credibility," says Green, "and I think that when students hear about that, they'll think like okay people are really talking about this."

Legislators have commissioned a study to learn more about the root causes of sexual assault in Indiana. A survey also went out this week to students at IU Bloomington to get a better understanding of the environment on the college campus.

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