Contact: Jonathon Andrews
Following Reports of Continued Abuses, SAVE Proposes Stronger Campus Sexual Assault Legislation
WASHINGTON / February 27, 2017 – In the wake of ongoing reports of campus proceedings that shortchange sexual assault victims and the accused, SAVE is releasing a stronger version of its Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act. The revised bill enhances the involvement of local law enforcement agencies for allegations of sexual violence. The CEFTA bill also strengthens due process protections and the presumption of innocence for accused students.
The revised model bill follows last week’s revelations that the University of Alaska signed a settlement agreement with the federal Office for Civil Rights agreeing to reinvestigate 23 cases of alleged sexual assault. In many cases, the university did not provide complainants temporary relief, like classroom changes or new living situations while the cases were investigated (1).
The revised model bill also comes in the wake of a February 24 report of a California Superior Court judge who ruled the sexual assault resolution procedures at San Diego State University were so riddled with conflict-of-interest that they were “enough to shock the Court’s conscience.” The judge remanded the case back to the university (2).
SAVE’s revised model bill makes these and other changes:
- Allegations of sexual violence will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency, if possible and with the consent of the complainant.
- Institutions shall not be obligated to begin any disciplinary process that is not initiated at the request of the complainant.
- The institution shall not investigate an allegation as long as the criminal proceeding is pending.
- Institutions will use at least a “clear and convincing” standard when suspension or expulsion is a possible sanction.
- Institutions will create a voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
The model bill is available on the SAVE website (3).
Numerous public opinion surveys show a strong majority of Americans favor the involvement of criminal justice officials in campus rape cases (4). SAVE is currently conducting a campaign to End Kangaroo Courts (5).
SAVE – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments — is working for effective and fair solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org