Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Department of Education has issued draft regulations that would fully implement his Campus SaVE Act which became law in 2013 as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA). The law would create the first ever uniform reporting standards for sexual assault on college campuses throughout the country. Today’s issuing of draft regulations is a critical step towards full implementation of Campus SaVE.
“These draft regulations are a major step towards fully implementing the first ever uniform reporting standards for sexual violence on college campuses,” Senator Casey said. “This law is a commonsense approach that will require colleges to offer vital protections to victims of sexual assault. Any victim of sexual assault deserves to know that these crimes are being reported appropriately. I’m going to continue to call on the Administration to expeditiously issue final regulations so these protections can be in place as soon as possible.”
The Campus SaVE Act, which became law as Section 304 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), closes a serious gap in the law by requiring colleges and universities to clearly spell out their policies regarding sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The Campus SaVe Act will also increase awareness and prevention of these acts of violence by requiring transparency of information, prevention programs, assistance for victims and clear institutional judicial proceedings to promote accountability.
The bill amends Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require each institution of higher education participating in a title IV program, except foreign schools, to:
• Include in its annual security report a statement of policy regarding its domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking awareness and prevention programs and the procedures it follows when such an offense occurs.
• Explain in writing students’ rights anytime a student reports being a victim of sexual violence, including stalking, dating or domestic violence. This would include a victim’s right to notify law enforcement if the victim chooses, to receive help from the school to report the incident, to seek a protective order from a local court, and to change residence, class schedule and travel arrangements as necessary to preserve the victim’s safety.
• Explain to students the school’s obligation to help enforce those protective orders.
• Start teaching bystander education – a prevention strategy that focuses on teaching male and female students alike that they can prevent sexual assaults and that they have a responsibility to do so.
• Direct the Secretary of Education to seek the Attorney General's counsel regarding the development, and dissemination to schools, of best practices for preventing and responding to sex offenses and other forms of intimate partner violence.