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Anniversary of Violence Against Women Act

July 1st, 2016 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) together with Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with 29 Senators, today sent a letter to the Departments of Education and Justice urging the agencies to ensure colleges and universities receiving federal funds adhere to new measures intended to help prevent sexual violence on campus and increase accountability for students’ safety. These regulations, which went into effect July 1st, 2015, were included in the Violence Against Woman Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) as amendments to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), a key campus safety law. VAWA also required that schools focus on prevention of these crimes, instituting education and training programs for faculty and students, and provide students with clear information about their rights under the law.

 

A review of federal campus safety data from more than 11,600 colleges and universities shows that 91 percent of the schools reported no incidents of campus sexual violence in 2014. The reporting directly conflicts with data on sexual violence from the Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which shows one in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses, strongly suggesting these institutions are not creating an environment where students feel comfortable reporting and vastly underreporting these crimes.

 

The Senators are requesting that the Departments evaluate how colleges and universities are falling short in complying with the VAWA reforms to the Clery Act, reinforce their obligation to students under the law, and clarify what steps these institutions can take to prevent gender-based violence on campus.

 

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