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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Stronger Confidentiality Laws For Rape Victims

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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.