Bill to Improve Sexual Assault Response Training on College Campuses is Vetoed

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Quirk authored Assembly Bill (AB) 1788, a bill to improve college and university staff training and response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. “Sexual violence against college students is a major concern, and the appropriate management and response is of utmost importance. We owe it to our students to feel safe and assured that all crimes will be properly handled,” he explained.

In June 2014, the California State Auditor released a report, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence:  California Universities Must Better Protect Students by Doing More to Prevent, Respond to, and Resolve Incidents, reviewing how California public institutions of higher learning were handling incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The State Auditor made a series of recommendations, including expanding staff training. “AB 1778 would have implemented one of the key recommendations of the audit,” Assemblymember Quirk stated.

When students experience sexual violence they are likely to report the incident to a trusted coach or resident advisor at their campus, unaware that this person may not be adequately trained to report and support the victim.  “The unfortunate truth,” he continued, “is that although certain staff is trained to respond to and report student incidents of sexual violence to the appropriate officials, not all college campuses suitably train every staff member who will interact with a student to do this.”

“I am disappointed that Governor Brown has vetoed AB 1778. Lack of all-inclusive, annual training will lead to the continued mismanagement of these incidents incident reports, or worse, may inadvertently discourage students from reporting these incidents” Assemblymember Quirk said upon learning his bill was vetoed.

Elected in 2012, Bill Quirk brings his PhD in astrophysics and career as an educator and scientist to the State Assembly.  He is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on California’s Clean Energy Economy, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, Public Safety, Revenue & Taxation, Rules, and Utilities & Commerce.
Website of Assemblymember Quirk: http://www.asmdc.org/quirk