Sexual violence on college campuses has reached a crisis point in this state and in this country. It may be uncomfortable for some folks to talk about but ignoring or minimizing the issue would be a gross disservice to our students and only add to the pain of survivors. It’s why I’m so proud to have played a small part in helping pass this student-led legislation to better support survivors and create a safer environment on Maine’s college campuses. I’m so grateful to the students who brought the bill forward, the brave survivors who shared their stories, and my colleagues in the Legislature who helped send this bill to the governor’s desk.
No one, let alone a college student, should have to worry about sexual violence. However, the truth is that sexual assault is an all too common occurrence on college campuses. All you have to do is look at the data on sexual violence, listen to the stories of survivors or talk to any college student. It represents an ugly stain on our education system. I want to thank all of the students who partnered with me on this legislation as well as the students who bravely shared their experiences with the committee today. I’m in awe of their drive and commitment to make things better for their peers and the students who follow in their footsteps. We owe it to them to make sure that Maine college campuses offer a safe environment to learn and prepare for the workforce.