Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Department of Education has issued final regulations to implement his Campus SaVE law which seeks to combat sexual assaults on college campuses. The measure passed in 2012 as part of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The new regulations require uniform reporting standards of sexual violence on college campuses and provide new accountability measures to schools.
“I’m pleased that the Department of Education has taken this important step to issue final regulations for the Campus SaVE law,” Senator Casey said. “This effort is about combatting the scourge of sexual assaults that is far too prevalent on college campuses. Victims of sexual violence shouldn’t have to further suffer through a maze of bureaucracy and confusing reporting standards. While these new regulations are a major step forward, much more needs to be done to protect victims of sexual assault on our college campuses.”
The regulations provide detailed guidance for colleges and universities on how to implement the law’s requirements, and were developed through a collaborative process known as “negotiated rulemaking,” with input from stakeholders. Schools will have to comply fully with the new requirements by July 1, 2015.
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.