Texas colleges would be required to establish firm policies for dealing with sexual assault -- including defining punishment for violations and protocol for reporting and responding to reports -- under a bill passed by the Texas House.
New research shows a pattern of under-reporting of on-campus sexual assaults by universities and colleges across the nation, and some schools have continued to under-report even after being fined for violations of federal law, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.
Federal investigations are underway at 55 colleges and universities, looking into whether they illegally handled sexual violence and harassment complaints, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The White House is taking new actions to combat sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, as President Barack Obama announced a new task force to help educational institutions prevent and respond to sexual violence as well as beef up the ability of federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they aren’t addressing problems.
The proposed legislation was revised following discussions with sexual assault survivors, changing the directive that colleges must report all Part 1 violent crimes or hate crimes to local law enforcement legislation, adding that colleges must report said crimes unless the victims expressly requests otherwise.