New regulations under Campus SaVE Act address sexual violence

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    Stalking, domestic violence and dating violence are now crimes that universities must report to be in compliance with federal law.

    The changes under the Campus SaVE Act are part of an overhaul of the Clery Act, first passed in 1992.

    S. Daniel Carter, director of the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative, said the changes are in response to a series of investigative journalism pieces that demonstrated the problems when working with undergraduate women who have experienced some form of sexually offensive behavior and procedural gaps.

    He quoted statistics from the act that said one in five undergraduate women will be the victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault while on campus and that only five to 10 percent will report the incident for assistance.

    “Much of what was in the old law [Clery Act] focused on treating the symptoms,” he said. “The Campus SaVE Act will focus on inoculating against the disease.”

    Carter said the addition of the primary prevention programs is what will “prevent the disease.”

    Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull said TCU is already in compliance with the changes.

    “We have a strong policy,” she said, “but we review our policies every year to ensure they are doing what they need to do to shape behavior and are in compliance with all laws and guidance.

    However the law, requires universities to report domestic violence, dating violence and stalking beyond the crime categories of the Clery Act, Cavins-Tull wrote in an email.

    The Campus SaVE Act also requires colleges and universities must develop clear statements of policy regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking prevention programs.

    · Prevention programs will include bystander education.

    · Colleges and universities will have to provide clear statements regarding the procedures followed when a case of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking is reported.

    · Victims will be informed of their rights which include:

    o The victim’s right to notify, or not to notify, law enforcement

    o The institution’s obligation to help the victim report the incident and seek protection from the court.

    o The victim’s options regarding academic, living, transportation, and working situations.

    · Institutions will have to establish clear procedures for on-campus disciplinary action in cases of an alleged incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.

    Carter said that the Clery Act needed to be updated since it is over 20 years old.

    “Much of what was in the old law [Clery Act] focused on treating the symptoms,” he said. “The Campus SaVE Act will focus on inoculating against the disease.”

    Carter said the addition of the primary prevention programs is what will “prevent the disease.”

    “The chance to educate campus populations about why these things are wrong and what they can do to stop them is the most important part,” he said.

    Schools must be in compliance with the changes by Oct. 1.

    Carter said more regulations have been proposed to the Department of Education. These regulations would add additional context of instruction for institutions to follow.

    He said that if a consensus is reached, the regulations would undergo an official process and go into effect by July 1 of 2015.

    “We may not get there 100 percent of the way,” Carter said, “but we want to prevent it as much as possible.”