Bill to Combat Sexual Violence on College Campuses Receives Support
Security On Campus, Inc. (SOC) joined with a diverse coalition of nearly 20 other organizations to endorse the federal Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act or Campus SaVE Act (S. 834). The measure, introduced yesterday by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), will update the Jeanne Clery Act to provide a better framework for the sexual assault education and victims' rights currently offered by colleges and universities, and expand them to also cover domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
"Sexual violence is a tragic and harsh reality on college campuses throughout the country," said Senator Casey. "We must ensure that when we send our sons and daughters off to colleges and universities, we are providing every means necessary for them to learn in a safe environment."
Between 20 and 25 percent of women in college will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape before they graduate according to the U.S. Department of Justice. College age women are at greatest risk for experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence, and people age 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.
The Campus SaVE Act will update the Clery Act's provisions to reflect the lessons learned about what works to prevent campus violence -
- Transparency in the amount of intimate partner violence and stalking is increased - domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking would be added to the crime statistics reported by colleges annually.
- Programs built around primary prevention - changing campus culture so that intimate partner violence and stalking won't be tolerated - and bystander intervention - so that campus community members are empowered to safely intervene - would be promoted.
- Victims would be entitled to be clearly informed of their rights in writing, and these rights would include prompt and equitable disciplinary proceedings (consistent with existing Title IX sexual harassment and violence guidelines), help with enforcing a protective order, and assistance with changing academic, working, or living arrangements.
- Institutions would be assisted in carrying out their responsibilities by technical assistance to be provided by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, and information about best practices provided by these agencies in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SaVE is also endorsed by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), Break the Cycle, Casa de Esperanza, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Dating Abuse Helpline, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Jewish Women International, the Women of Color Network, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), and Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE).