Bay Area lawmakers are working on national legislation to help college students who have been sexually assaulted on or near campuses get support.
Representatives Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said assaults against students is a nationwide epidemic.
"It's an emergency not only in the Bay Area, but throughout the country," Lee said. "Young women need to have assurances that perpatrators will be punished properly and appropriately -- there's a lot to be done."
Leah Francis is also pushing for the change. The Stanford University senior said she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student earlier this year.
Francis said the student was punished by receiving a five-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service. She also said police and university administration provided little support.
"I really wanted this to come out into the open so we can confront the administration," Francis said. "I want them to know that no survivor at Stanford is going to be treated the way I was treated again."
Recent reports show nine students have been convicted of sexual assault on the Stanford campus since 2005, with one of them expelled.
In April, 31 sexual assault victims filed a federal lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley. The victims said they are taking a stand and demand an end to sexual violence on campus.