LANSING — Today, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan package of bills aimed at combatting sexual assault in the state. Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), the Democratic vice chair of the Law and Justice Committee helped to lead the development of the package and six weeks of committee hearings. Included in the package was House Bill 5791, introduced by state Rep. Chang, which would require the Department of Education to develop age-appropriate informational material related to sexual assault and harassment and make the materials available to school districts for grades 6-12. In response, Rep. Chang issued the following statement:
“The bills we passed today would not have been made possible if it were not for the conviction, grace and fortitude of the survivors and others who reached out to us to share their story and demand action to address sexual assault. We owed it to them to pass a comprehensive set of reforms to better protect survivors in our state, and today we took important steps forward that will make a difference for Michiganders for years to come.
“From the beginning, we set out to work on three principles — protecting survivors, increasing accountability, and preventing sexual assault. Today we are empowering young people by educating them about sexual assault and where they can turn for help and providing tools to ensure that universities are improving their responses to sexual assault on campus. We are holding health professionals accountable so that they cannot get away with sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment. And we are moving forward a bipartisan compromise on statutes of limitation that bring access, fairness, accuracy and justice to our legal system for survivors.”