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Unifying sexual harassment policies at the State House

HARRISBURG, Pa. - State lawmakers taking a closer look at how they handle sexual harassment complaints filed against fellow legislators. Some believe there needs to be an overhaul of policy to streamline across the legislature.

"If it's happening under this dome there should be one process," said Jennifer Storm, victim advocate.

Currently, if sexual harassment claims are made against a Pennsylvania state lawmaker, it depends how it's handled based on party and if they're a member of the house or senate.

"If you're a harassed by a democratic senator your process shouldn't be different if your harassed by a republican house member," said Storm.

Streamlining the policies is the goal of not only Storm but other members of the General Assembly. State Rep. Sheryl Delozier has been fighting this issue for some time. She says having a unified policy will not only help the legislature with the actions they should take but will also help victims.

"The bottom line is the fact that we need to have victims of sexual harassment or assault feel comfortable coming forward," said Rep. Delozier.

A resolution authored by Delozier passed the General Assembly this past June, allowing a study of past cases of sexual harassment: how they were handled, and how they can be improved.

When results come back this spring, Delozier is prepared to introduce bills based on the study's recommendations. She's hoping they send a strong message to those in the General Assembly about what they can and can't do.

"I think as grown adults we should understand a man and woman can work together without having sexual harassment," said Delozier. "Behaving badly is not accepted."

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