Texas A&M sexual assault survivors go to Capitol Hill
Current and former Texas A&M University students who were sexually assaulted on campus were on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
They were joined by Texas Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX-02) who announced legislation to deal with the issue of sexual assault on college campuses and protect victims.
Poe spoke about a bill he authored, the Megan Rondini Act. The proposal has been introduced and is named after an Alabama college student who was sexually assaulted and committed suicide.
The other two bills are the HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) and the Bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act by Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Poe says both bills should be introduced next week.
"Sexual assaults occur in 1 in five of our young women when they go to our universities," Poe stated at a press conference with the five survivors from Texas A&M.
During the press conference the women gave details of their assaults and described how they felt betrayed when they approached university administrators about their cases. Also, the women say the university does not have uniform process to report these incidents and hold perpetrators accountable.
"These stories are all the same and demonstrate that in each and every case the university prioritizes the athlete, money, and perceptions of safety over providing advocates and support for the victims like ourselves," said Abbie Hillis, a former student and survivor.
The women also started the organization 12th Woman.
Texas A&M sent FOX 26 the following statement:
"Texas A&M University looks forward to sharing findings from its internal and external investigations into how sexual assaults reported on campus are dealt with. As we speak, there are many administrators, staffers, students, sexual assault victims and faculty who are resolutely working on creating a better process, as well as improving upon the course for sanctions."
A spokesperson also provided links to statements on the university's website from July 2, 2018, June 21, 2018 and June 15, 2018.