November 25, 2011

New Bill in Congress: Campus SaVE Act and Recent College News Reports

For a one page summary of the Campus saVE Act
11-13-2011 National:

One recent news report "The Molester Next Door" ends with wondering if the college should have done a better job of following up on past report about a former assistant football coach. The essence being a question of college Policy if such exists and who is responsible for what and when, on issues of violence and sexual acts on campus. See "The Current Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting" for further information..
With that in mind there are two related bills in Congress to look at: Campus SaVE Act: HR-2016 [Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. NY-14] and Senate Campus SaVE Act: S-834 [Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. Pennsylvania], these bills mirror each other.
Suggested Amendments: Bills are focused on "Violence Against Women" but, men and minors on campus need to be addressed as well, and absent is appropriate therapy, or referrals, when possible, for those deemed offenders under college policy.
The bills' essence (Yellow Highlights Below) is to amend 42 USC § 1092 Institutional and Financial Assistance Information for Students (Institutional Information portion). Our suggestions and the bill command colleges to do a better job of tracking reports of sexual acts, reporting to authorities when appropriate, and provide training programs for students and staff. So the essence seems logical and correct if colleges are not now doing a good job, or their policies are inadequate as to informing employees of what they are to do under different circumstances.

First, the bills' Congressional Findings which I have tried to verify:
(1) Between 20 and 25 percent of female students will experience some form of sexual assault during their years at an institution of higher education, and nearly 3 percent of all such women become victims of either attempted or completed rape in each 9-month academic year.

(2) Multiple studies indicate that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students are more likely to experience violence and threats of violence, including sexual violence, than their non-LGBT peers.

(3) Between 85 and 90 percent of reported sexual assaults against female students at institutions of higher education are perpetrated by someone known to the victim, and nearly half of such sexual assaults occur on a date.

(4) Less than 5 percent of rapes or attempted rapes of female students at institutions of higher education are reported to campus authorities or law enforcement. In 2009, only 2,578 forcible sex offenses and 68 non-forcible sex offenses that occurred on the campus of a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education were reported, among 8,476 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions of higher education. (These numbers, and those for other crimes on campus, can be found at this LINK [scroll down page to "Summary Crime Statistics"])
(5) Students are more likely to report a sexual assault when they know how to report a sexual assault and how a school will respond if such a report is made, yet fewer than half of the institutions of higher education in the United States have written policies for filing criminal charges and campus reports related to sexual assault.

(6) Only 1/3 of the institutions of higher education in the United States report their crime statistics correctly, resulting in statistics in which instances of sexual assault have been misclassified and underrepresented. Less than half of all institutions of higher education in the United States offer any sexual assault training, and such training is often provided only for resident advisers and security officers.
To find what crimes have occurred (i.e. REPORTED) on any college campus in the nation, use this tool and follow their instructions.
(7) Thirty-six percent of institutions of higher education offer safety training that includes teaching students how to prevent and defend against sexual assault.

(8) Less than 20 percent of institutions of higher education educate students about acquaintance rape, and less than half of 4-year public institutions do so.

(9) According to campus administrators, the reporting of sexual assaults would be facilitated if institutions of higher education provided services for victims, written law enforcement response procedures, new student orientation, and campus-wide publicity about past crimes.

(10) While dating, domestic, and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.

(11) Women of all ages are at risk for domestic and sexual violence, and women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence.

(12) Individuals ages 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.

There isn't much that can be said at this point, other than, events of the day show a need for change in College Policy and Enforcement, which this bill tightens up on colleges in many respects.

I am suggesting that folks SUPPORT this bill, and our suggestions, and contact their Representatives and Senators in Washington DC, asking them to amend and make this bill law as soon as possible.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Women Against Registry have reviewed these suggestions, and forwarded this comment: This bill (as introduced in both chambers) is both acceptable and needed, on its face. Advocates in this movement should keep an eye on it, however, and protest any unreasonably biased and potentially harmful language that might make its way in via amendments during the process.

No comments: