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Gov. Cuomo Backs Universal Sex Assault Policy For New York Colleges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- While backing new legislation on Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it's time for action on college campus sexual assault.

As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, Cuomo said the numbers are disturbing: one in five women are raped while in college.

Gov. Cuomo Backs Universal Sex Assault Policy For New York Colleges

The governor outlined a proposal that has already been adopted by state universities in New York.

Cuomo is now looking to have all public and private schools across the state follow the same policy.

The policy includes a sexual assault victims bill of rights, a uniform definition of consent, a confidentiality protocol and "this law will provide amnesty to the victim from any related offenses, which I believe are really just tactics to stop the victim from coming forward," Cuomo added.

Gov. Cuomo Backs Universal Sex Assault Policy For New York Colleges

The bill would require that a woman give "clear, unambiguous, and voluntary'' consent before any sexual activity. To encourage victims to come forward, students reporting assaults would get immunity from related offenses such as drug use. And victims would be offered the option of reporting an assault to state police rather than campus authorities or a local police department.

Students CBS2's Ilana Gold spoke with said they want it implemented on their campuses.

"It's extremely important. It shouldn't be something that doesn't exist, it should already be in place," Barnard freshman Sage Max said.

Even male students, like one 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten spoke with, said it's a good idea.

"I think that consent is something that should be affirmative, it should be clear and in general, openness between partners is necessary for both healthy sexual relationships and relationships in college in general," he said.

The governor said colleges are hiding the ugly truth, Hall reported.

"They don't want the publicity of the attacks happening on their campus," Cuomo said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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