October 3, 2014 — A new law addressing sexual assaults that occur on college campuses broadens the definition of sexual violence to include stalking and dating violence and makes clear that the law applies to both heterosexual and same-sex assaults, NPR's "All Things Considered" reports. The law took effect Wednesday (Shapiro, "All Things Considered," NPR, 10/1).
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act -- included in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (PL 113-4) -- expanded the 1992 Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities that receive federal student financial aid to track and publish crime statistics. Under the Campus SaVE Act, the reporting requirements also apply to domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases that are reported to campus or local police (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/21).
The law also details victims' rights to contact local police authorities, obtain referrals for health care and "be guaranteed a fair hearing process," according to "All Things Considered." In addition, the law requires further training for campus officials tasked with investigating assaults and requires that schools educate students on how to prevent assaults. Additionally, the law expands the definition of rape to include same-sex assaults.
Advocates, Survivors Welcome Same-Sex Protections
John Kelly -- a student at Tufts University and survivor of same-sex assault who helped draft the new law -- praised the Department of Education's decision not to "'define rape as only between a man and a woman.'"
MaleSurvivor Executive Director Chris Anderson said, "In many communities, and many populations, the very idea of being a man and being a victim are diametrically opposed to one another." He added, "In many college communities -- in fact in many communities around the country -- there really are no services directed towards male victims at all" ("All Things Considered," NPR, 10/1).