State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), a sponsor of the measure, told a legislative committee Tuesday that the fear of being ticketed for underage drinking could discourage some victims from coming forward. “We know under-reporting to be a huge issue, and anything we can do to remove barriers must be done,” he argued.
The proposal also prevents college campuses from taking disciplinary action against students who were assaulted while drinking underage.
UW-Madison Assistant Police Chief Kari Sasso said her campus already has a similar policy in place, which has proven helpful in letting students know they can come forward and don’t have to worry. “We need to do all we can to encourage survivors of sexual assault to come forward to report the crime, so we can do our jobs as law enforcement to hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions,” she said.
The bill passed the Assembly already earlier this year. It could see a vote in the Senate later this month.