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Brigham Young University now has an amnesty clause.

Effective immediately, the clause shields students who report sexual assault from being investigated or disciplined for Honor Code violations at or near the time of the assault. The opening phrase of the clause is unambiguous:

“At BYU, being a victim of sexual misconduct is never a violation of the Honor Code.”

Students, assault survivors and advocates hailed the move, one of 23 recommendations made by the Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault. The reforms are comprehensive and designed to encourage survivors to report their assaults so the university can help them with an array of resources, said Julie Valentine, a BYU nursing professor whose research focuses on sexual assault.

“These are sweeping changes meant to benefit our students,” said Valentine, who served on the advisory council. “That’s who we did all this work for.”

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