Morrell: Colleges Need Policies For Addressing Sexual Assault Reports
The state Board of Regents has released a reporting showing students at colleges are more vulnerable when it comes to sexual assault, because there's no statewide policy in place for handling such allegations.
New Orleans Sen. JP Morrell requested the report. He says no two Louisiana colleges have the same guidelines for handling sexual assault accusations.
A lot of them are doing way less than what should be required.
"That is a huge problem, because if there is no benchmark for what is minimally expected, every college is going to do a very very different thing," said Morrell.
Morrell says Louisiana needs to establish a benchmark that all colleges must meet when it comes to the way sexual assault claims are handled.
"We're grading them against nothing right now, and because of that, a lot of them are doing way less than what should be required," said Morrell.
Morrell says student victims need to feel comfortable reporting any potential sexual assault, which is why specific steps should be followed in the investigation process.
He says officials with LSU-Baton Rouge indicated they've only had 22 reports of sexual abuse over a five-year period.
"That number is absurdly low," Morrell said. "That would mean that LSU is like Disneyland with security in every corner. At the very least, I think the case could be made that there is definitive under-reporting."