Increased Vigilance on College Sexual Assaults

If one in five women were robbed at gunpoint in college, their parents, lawyers, doctors and insurance companies would storm the campus. Yet studies show that nearly one in five women in college nationwide will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault in the course of their undergraduate careers. Fortunately, the Obama administration is requesting that colleges make public a tally of reports of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

A federal law known as the Jeanne Clery Act mandates that colleges and universities must report information on crime on and around campuses, and provide victims with select rights and resources. When President Barack Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act last March, the bill included the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act. That law amends the Clery Act and gives additional rights to victims of sexual violence on campus. A final version of the regulations is expected on November 1. Learn more about the new rules.

Many of these proposed changes will create more protection for victims, including reporting on the rationale behind any disciplinary proceedings at college and universities. Dating violence is now considered a crime for federal reporting purposes, and now students have the right to choose a lawyer as an advisor during disciplinary proceedings.

FUTURES was instrumental in advocating for many of these improvements to victim services and expanded data collection. These new rules will not change any of the requirements under Title IX, but will strengthen protections for victim confidentiality and improve victim services and prevention programs. A negotiated rulemaking committee agreed on the changes earlier this year.