Bennet Signs on to Bipartisan Bill to Increase Safety on College Campuses

Bill Would Improve Reporting of Incidents of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced that he is signing onto a bipartisan bill to increase safety on college campuses by better reporting of incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The bill would also increase transparency by improving information about school’s prevention programs and disciplinary actions.

“Our college campuses and surrounding communities should always be safe environments for our students,” said Bennet. “Students and their families should benefit from all the available information about violence on campus when they’re making decisions about where to attend. This bipartisan bill would provide more information through improved reporting of crimes on or near campus, help prevent crimes in the future and provide victims with knowledge of their rights and resources.”

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act) would update Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which currently requires colleges and universities to report to the Department of Education and Department of Justice information about incidents of sexual assault and also encourages the training of personnel and implementation of education and prevention programs. Title IV does this through the incentives of grant funds and federal student financial aid programs.

But evidence has shown that only a third of universities report their crime statistics correctly, and many have not implemented prevention programs. College-aged women face the highest rates of stalking, and 20-25 percent of female students experience rape or attempted rape.

The Campus SaVE Act would address these issues specifically by:

  • Requiring annual reports to include incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, along with sexual assaults, from the preceding two years;
  • Requiring schools to protect victim confidentiality;
  • Providing students and employees with reporting victimization written notification of rights, including options to change academic or living situations and obtain restraining orders;
  • Requiring universities to include in the annual report information about their prevention programs and disciplinary procedures followed when an offense is reported; and
  • Clarifying the term “off-campus” to include public property near the campus and in school-related but non-campus facilities.

The following groups support the bill: American Association of University Women (AAUW); Security on Campus (SOC); Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER); Break the Cycle; Casa de Esperanza; National Alliance to End Sexual Violence; National Center for Victims of Crime; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; National Dating Abuse Hotline; National Network to End Domestic Violence; National Resource Center on Domestic Violence; Family Violence Prevention Fund; Jewish Women International; Women of Color Network; and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).