PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Chris Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: cperry@saveservices.org

Campus Rape Tribunals are Shortchanging Victims: SAVE Urges Lawmakers to ‘Do Better’ Than SB.169

WASHINGTON / April 18, 2017 – In 2011 the federal Office for Civil Rights issued a directive that served to minimize the role of law enforcement in campus sexual assault cases. Following release of this policy, the number of federal complaints against colleges by identified victims increased dramatically from 300 a year to over 2,000 annually.

Ironically, the California Senate is now considering a bill, SB. 169, that would turn this controversial federal policy into state law. SAVE urges lawmakers to reject SB. 169, an ill-advised bill that would solidify a dysfunctional campus system.

Campus sexual assault is a violent crime and it should be treated as such. SB.169 would fail to provide identified victims and the school community the justice that these cases deserve. Since the release of the federal directive, 25 higher education institutions in California have been investigated by the Office for Civil Rights for alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, arising from 37 separate complaints made by identified victims: http://projects.chronicle.com/titleix/investigations/?search_term=&states=California&start=&end=

In addition, 20 lawsuits have been filed against California universities by accused students. These students have alleged lack of due process and numerous Title IX violations: https://titleixforall.knack.com

SAVE is submitting testimony to the California Senate’s Standing Committee on Education for its upcoming hearing. The letter urges lawmakers to devise a comprehensive response to campus sexual assault that supports complainants, protects the school community, and aims to reliably identify perpetrators using an objective and equitable procedure: http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/CA-SB.169-Testimony-.pdf

If SB.169 is adopted in its current form, SAVE believes campus disciplinary systems will continue to stumble along with inferior resources, opaque procedures, and questionable results. A detailed critique of the SB.169 bill can be seen at http://www.saveservices.org/camp/sb-169-we-can-do-better/.

A 2016 survey of California residents revealed a strong voter preference for campus sexual assault cases to be investigated and resolved by the criminal justice system: http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/opinion-polls/

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for fair and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org