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Proposed rule changes on campus sexual assault come under fire from Sununu, congressional delegation
Sununu echoed many of the same concerns raised at a roundtable hosted at the Concord offices of the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence in Concord and attended by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster.
They were joined by assault survivors, advocates, researchers and representatives of universities and campuses from across the state.
Victims’ rights advocates – including leaders of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, who hosted Monday’s discussion – say the changes will discourage survivors from reporting abuse.
“Coming forward in my experience was difficult enough,” said Harmony Reid, who survived an assault years ago while studying at Plymouth State University. The current proposal will only make that process harder, she said.
“I am extremely disappointed to think 40 years after I was in school that there could be a generation of students ... that have less protection than we had,” Kuster said during a roundtable discussion at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence in Concord. “This takes us backward to a time when people did not have the courage to speak up.”
In a statement, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence praised the decision.
“In order to change the existing culture that minimizes sexual violence and silences survivors, we must continue to hold offenders accountable and demonstrate to victim/survivors that we take these crimes seriously,” Public Affairs Director Amanda Grady Sexton said. She also praised the victim, Chessy Prout, for coming forward.