In a Letter to Senate Appropriators, Casey and Senate Colleagues Urge Increased Funding for Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Programs

20-25% of Female Undergraduates Will Be Victims of Sexual Assault or Attempted Sexual Assault This Year / Casey is the Author of the Campus SaVE Act, Which Aims to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

In a Letter to Senate Appropriators, Casey and Senate Colleagues Urge Increased Funding for Campus Sexual Assault  Prevention Programs

Washington, DC- In a letter to Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) – joined by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Richard Blumenthnal (D-CT) – today urged the committee to honor President Obama’s request for $11 million to fund the Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Grant Program as the committee prepares FY2015 spending bills.

“The report released by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault that offers clarification from the U.S. Department of Education on schools’ responsibilities under Title IX is an important step towards an appropriate federal response to this issue. However, as institutions are asked to respond to these recommendations, it is imperative that they have adequate resources to change administrative policies and improve enforcement efforts.

“We ask that you provide $11 million in funding for the Campus grant program so that the DOJ can assist as many schools as possible, including new grant applicants, in the nationwide effort to combat sexual assault on campuses.”

Casey is the author of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act), which closes a gap in the law by requiring colleges and universities to clearly spell out their policies regarding sexual assault and intimate partner violence. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 20 to 25 percent of female undergraduates will be the victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault this year and in nearly all cases it will be by an acquaintance.

The full text of the letter can be found below:

Dear Chairman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby,

As your subcommittee drafts the FY2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill, we write to urge you to fully fund the President’s request of $11 million for the Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Grant Program (Campus), administered by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

The federal government must do everything it can to help schools eradicate the national epidemic of sexual assault on campuses. It is simply unacceptable that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. The report released by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault that offers clarification from the U.S. Department of Education on schools’ responsibilities under Title IX is an important step towards an appropriate federal response to this issue. However, as institutions are asked to respond to these recommendations, it is imperative that they have adequate resources to change administrative policies and improve enforcement efforts. The Campus grant program is a vitally important tool that must be used in this effort. However, DOJ was only able to offer continuation grants in Fiscal Year 2014, which prevented schools who wanted to undertake new initiatives from applying for these funds. We know that schools across the country have used this Campus grant program to successfully start sexual violence prevention programs that have been continued beyond the life of the grant because the school recognized the immeasurable value of supporting the programs created from the original grant. These grants must be continued and it is essential that other schools have that same opportunity going forward.

We ask that you provide $11 million in funding for the Campus grant program so that the DOJ can assist as many schools as possible, including new grant applicants, in the nationwide effort to combat sexual assault on campuses. Thank you for your attention to our request.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

###

Press Contact

John Rizzo 202-228-6367