Federal Campus Legislation Announced

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Today Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Congressman Patrick Meehan, along with a survivor of campus sexual violence and representatives from the bill’s many partners, presented the introduction of the HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act.

The National Institution of Justice estimates that over 60% of universities do not fulfill their legal responsibilities in responding to sexual violence on their campuses. Indeed, over 100 colleges and universities are currently under federal investigation for mishandling sexual violence cases. Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Congressman Patrick Meehan are standing up to advocate for students survivors’ right to a fair response to sexual violence and for all students’ right to learn without the fear of sexual violence.

Their proposal, the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Violence Act, would work to end college sexual violence and to support survivors by holding campuses accountable to federal safety and sexual violence prevention standards. As a technical assistance provider to California campuses over the past 15 years, CALCASA has worked to build the capacity of colleges and universities to better respond to and prevent sexual violence. Developing comprehensive survivor-centered policies is an integral component of a coordinated and collaborative community response.

This act would require:

  • Increased funding for investigations
  • Creation of an interagency task force to coordinate between agencies and improve investigations
  • Completion of regular climate surveys
  • Increased campus education on Title IX, including students’ rights and institutions’ duties
  • Creation of a private right of action for students against institutions if they do not meet campus safety requirements
  • New/increased penalties on campus violations of Title IX and the Clery Act
  • A public list of institutions under investigation

Colleges would be required to demonstrate CALCASA’s approach of survivor-centeredness by increasing students’ understanding of Title IX, including students’ rights and institutions’ duties. Furthermore, the HALT on Campus Sexual Violence Act would promote CALCASA’s approach of community collaboration and engagement by creating an interagency task force to coordinate between agencies and improve investigations. Ultimately this act will hold campuses accountable to their responses to sexual violence and will empower them to be leaders in the movement to end sexual violence.

Shaina Brown

Shaina Brown is responsible for managing strategic communications and providing analysis on legislative issues related to sexual violence. Shaina has a background in public affairs, media relations and grant management. Shaina joined the movement to end sexual violence in 2009, serving as a volunteer for Jeans 4 Justice, a San Diego based social change organization.

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  • Betty Wytias June 5, 2015, 5:41 PM

    This gives us hope. Gives us hope that prevention and non-isolation education, and in compliance with HALT, will help victims give voice & courage & validation to their experiences. It is critical that colleges and universities not shield violators from ‘real’ world prosecutions.
    Thanks, Rebecca Henry, for passing on the HALT news!

  • Johanna Downey June 26, 2015, 11:32 AM

    Shaina, hello! I was able to listen in on the STATE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM SERVICES meeting today (Fri 26 June) and learned so much more about what’s happening with not only Cal OES but CALCASA as it relates to Rape Crisis Centers and their involvement with victims on campus, within criminal justice, etc. Thanks for keeping me in this very important loop, and for updating all of us with new legislation, etc. Totally appreciate all of your hard work and efforts! – Johanna Downey / PCIRC

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