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Governor Signs Cervantes Bill to Ensure Confidential Counseling for Student Survivors of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Assembly Bill 1896 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 1896 will ensure confidential counseling for student survivors of sexual assault at our public and private colleges and universities.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 11.2 percent of college students in the United States experience rape or other forms of sexual assault.

  • Current law provides a legal privilege of confidential communications between a survivor of sexual assault and a sexual assault counselor.
  • However, there has been uncertainty amongst sexual assault counselors whether this privilege also extends to their work on our college and university campuses.
  • AB 1896 would clarify that this legal privilege applies, and has always applied, to sexual assault counselors providing services and support to student survivors.
  • Student survivors should have access to a system that provides trauma-informed, coordinated, and confidential support.

“With increased attention to the alarming issue of sexual assault occurring at college campuses, there is a strong need for sexual assault counselors to provide a safe environment and appropriate assistance for survivors. AB 1896 will do so by providing survivors of sexual assault with legal assurances of confidentiality,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “I am elated that Governor Brown has signed AB 1896 into law. We must do all that we can to provide survivors with the support they both need and deserve.”

AB 1896 is sponsored by the Cal State Student Association, and supported by The California State University and Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.

AB 1896 passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support. The provisions of the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2019. More information about the bill can be found here.

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