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Brenda Tracy talks with Oregon senators on changes to campus sex assault investigations

Brenda Tracy - KATU News photo

PORTLAND, Ore. - One in five women will be sexually assaulted on college campuses, statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center show.

The U.S. Department of Education is rolling back Obama administration policies on how colleges should handle sexual assaults.

Rape survivor and women’s rights advocate Brenda Tracy joined Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden at Portland State University on Monday to address the department’s changes.

Tracy accuses the Trump administration of creating a hostile environment for sexual assault victims. She says it will be more difficult for survivors to come forward.

One specific rule that Tracy took issue with was the idea of "mediation," which would put sexual assault survivors and the suspects at the same table for talks.

"I don't know of any survivor that would want to come forward if they knew they had to sit down and face their attacker,” said Tracy. "The trauma, the psychological trauma is potentially life-threatening, as in suicide."

Tracy asked the senators to work with others in congress to sit down with more sexual assault survivors. By putting a face to the issue, Tracy said she hopes lawmakers will take more steps to protect victims.


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