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Sexual Harm Prevention Council prepares to present recommendations

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The deadline for Vermont’s new Intercollegiate Sexual Harm Prevention Council to submit its first set of recommendations to the Legislature is fast approaching.

By Nov. 1, the group of 16 sexual violence experts who comprise the council must present amnesty policies that ensure survivors aren’t punished for reporting an incident on campus.

In other words, if a survivor was violating minor conduct rules at the time of the assault, like drinking or doing drugs, they wouldn’t face ramifications.

Based on the recommendations, the general assembly will decide if legislative action is necessary to legally promise that protection.

“Very focused on the victim and ensuring that whatever barriers that may be in the way for them to access services as well as accessing processes to report sexual assault is incredibly important,” said Alison Tartaglia, chair of the Intercollegiate Sexual Harm Prevention Council.

So far, the council has convened twice and will submit a written report by Dec. 1 detailing the group’s other goals.

Leaders say one priority is creating a statewide database that keeps tabs on each college’s resources for survivors.

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