Washington DC- On the day new rules from U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) campus sexual assault bill go into effect, Casey detailed the new protections and discussed the impact for the upcoming school year. Casey’s Campus SaVE Act became law during the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). With the regulatory process now complete, these new protections requiring uniform reporting and accountability standards will become reality.
“Today, the regulations to implement my legislation, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, take effect. The Campus SaVE Act is the most significant update to the campus sexual assault provisions of the Clery Act in two decades. As of today, all institutions of higher education must be in compliance with the new law,” Senator Casey said. “The Campus SaVE Act makes a huge leap forward in protecting college communities and providing resources for victims of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. When students start, or return to, college in the fall, they will benefit from new prevention programs designed to reduce sexual abuse and dating violence, and will have new protections under the law.”
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.
The Campus SaVE Act has been endorsed by the following organizations
- American Association of University Women (AAUW)
- Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence
- Clery Center for Security On Campus
- Break the Cycle
- Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network
- Feminist Majority
- Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund)
- General Federation of Women’s Clubs
- Jewish Women International
- Legal Momentum
- Men Can Stop Rape
- National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
- National Council of Jewish Women
- National Dating Abuse Helpline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
- National Legal Aid & Defender Association
- National Network to End Domestic Violence
- National Organization for Women
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- One Love Foundation
- Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Women’s Law Project
- VTV Family Outreach Foundation
- Women of Color Network
- YWCA USA