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Sexual Assault Policies to Be Tightened at California Colleges

All California colleges, private and public, will adopt a victim-centered approach to sexual assault policies on campuses if a proposed new bill passes muster. Senate Bill 967 is intended to shift more of the burden to the accused to prove he or she obtained consent, rather than leave it to the victim to prove they did not give consent to a sexual encounter. Additionally, the bill has a clause directed at banning being drunk as a defense for alleged perpetrators, and wording that outlines how consent is not considered to be given if a person is unable to communicate, or is asleep or incapacitated.

The bill has the backing and participation of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, which hopes to stop sexual assaults being trivialized on college campuses. Assaults are not the norm. They are not part of the University experience, nor should they be overlooked as being business as usual.

It is time to do something about them, and not keep them in the dark or expose them to the public as shameful sex scandals. It’s long past time for the accused to bear the burden of proof in these cases, as well. “No” still means “No”; it should not up to the victim to prove that, and as a result, to be put in a disadvantageous position from the start.

If the review of the bill goes well, it is expected to be signed by the governor in September, with expectations the bill could become law in January. It’s a breath of fresh air to have what should be commonsense human rights enshrined as a law to protect victims of sexual assault. If you have been assaulted, speak to an experienced injury lawyer. You have rights. Protect them—for yourself and for others.

Twenty-three seconds may mean the difference between life and death

It is illegal to text and drive. It is dangerous and deadly—period. It’s not just California that recognizes the dangers of distracted driving, either. A recent survey conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that texting while driving doubles the risk of an almost accident or actual crash. It also revealed that texters have their eyes off the road for up to 23 seconds.

Anything can and does happen in those 23 seconds, which may mean the difference between serious, life-altering injuries and/or death.

There are three types of distractions while driving—cognitive, manual and visual—and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say texting is an extremely serious distraction because it involves all three types of distractions. Not many people seem to “get it” though, and in a phone survey conducted by the NHTSA of over 6,000 drivers 18 years of age and older, just about one-fifth of the participants said they sent texts or emails while driving.

A further 25 percent also said this did not affect their performance behind the wheel. If traffic accident statistics in all of the states across America are examined closely, this statement is hardly accurate.

Driving while distracted is negligence. Negligence can be the foundation for a wrongful death lawsuit that may financially break you. Is it worth the life of another and financial ruin to send texts while driving? For the lives of others and your own life, it can wait.

Nursing Homes are Not Just for the Elderly

Many people think nursing homes are only for seniors. On the contrary, they are also places of residence for younger individuals, such as the mentally disabled teen in this case. Her father filed a lawsuit against the nursing home where she was staying, alleging that a staff member sexually assaulted her.

The suit says a certified nursing assistant made plans with a co-worker to let the nursing assistant be alone with the young teen. This was in violation of the center’s stated policies. The man allegedly repeatedly raped and assaulted the girl. The suit named the nursing home’s owners, the second nursing assistant and the man charged with the assault.

The suit states that management advised the father that no male personnel would have unsupervised contact with his daughter. After the assault, she was permanently physically and emotionally traumatized. It seeks punitive and compensatory damages.

When things like this happen, it is vitally important to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney, no matter what the age of an alleged victim may be. Anyone residing in a nursing home is to be protected and cared for and not to be exposed to violence such as this. If you are facing a situation such as this, make contact with an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately.