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Oregon Lawmakers Consider Stronger Confidentiality Laws For Rape Victims

Sexual assault survivor Brenda Tracy speaks with reporters following a rally at the Oregon state capitol in Salem.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
Sexual assault survivor Brenda Tracy speaks with reporters following a rally at the Oregon state capitol in Salem.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses to get the support they need.

A measure in Salem would remove the current requirement that college sexual assault counselors report all suspected sex crimes to campus officials. Supporters said that requirement means victims hesitate to come forward, fearing public humiliation.

Brenda Tracy survived a gang rape at Oregon State University in 1998. She says the bill would benefit people like her.

"It is so shameful and it is so disgusting and it is so vile, that you don't want anyone to know at first, because you're so disgusted,” Tracy said. “So to have someone that could be there for you and tell you this is what's going to happen, this is what's going to be expected and to be able to confide in them and not have to worry about other people knowing is so important."

Tracy first shared her story publicly with The Oregonian newspaper last fall. She spoke at a rally in front of the Oregon capitol before a legislative hearing on the measure Wednesday.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.