New federal regulations concerning campus sexual assault and domestic violence have gone into effect in the United States.
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act became operational last week in an effort to improve upon how the country handles sexual misconduct on college campuses and universities.
The Campus SaVE Act, co-authored by U.S. Senator Robert Casey, is meant to update the Jeanne Cleary Act, which required information pertaining to campus crime to be published. The update seeks to address the violence facing women on college campuses, including the highest rates of stalking, the high risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence, and instances of rape or attempted rape, experienced by a purported 20-25% of women on college campuses, writes Michael P. Rellahan for The Times Herald.
"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," 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," he said.
Students entering college this fall will receive training and education pertaining to the prevention of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The new training will suggest prevention methods including integrated programs, initiatives and strategies meant to put an end to such actions. The Campus SaVE Act marks the first time that such education is a requirement.
According to the law, a clear policy must be adopted by all institutes of higher education regarding sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as prevention programs to help stop the instances from occurring in the first place and establishing detailed procedures in terms of disciplinary procedures. In addition, written information must be offered to victims about what their rights are and what programs are there for them to use.
Casey added that the new law is meant to offer victims of sexual abuse increased support.
"Victims often do not know where to turn or what to do after an assault," he said. "For a student assaulted in 2015, schools must now provide a written list of the resources available for that victim, such as the option to change classes, move dorms, or move to a new on-campus job, in order to protect the victim and enable the victim to feel safe on campus; and available counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy and legal resources available in the community."