Campus Sexual Assault

Resource Center: Campus Accountability & Safety Act (S. 590)

The Problem

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses reported over 6,700 forcible sex offenses in 2014 – but a recent study shows that the actual number of offenses is estimated to be at least four times that number.

Rather than protect survivors and hold assailants accountable, colleges and universities are incentivized by the current federal laws to sweep cases under the rug. A recent survey of colleges and universities found that 41 percent of colleges have not conducted a single investigation of sexual violence on their campus in the past five years.

Currently, 185 universities are under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for alleged violations of Title IX related to the handling of sexual violence.

Campus Accountability & Safety Act

A bipartisan group of 37 Senators has proposed the Campus Accountability & Safety Act (S. 590) to protect students and boost accountability and transparency at colleges and universities.

The new legislation incorporates input from survivors, students, colleges and universities, law enforcement and advocates. It would do the following:

  1. Establish new campus resources and support services for student survivors
  2. Ensure that college and university staff meet minimum training standards to address sexual assault cases
  3. Create historic transparency requirements to provide students, parents and officials with an accurate picture of the problem, and of how campuses are addressing it
  4. Require a uniform student disciplinary process across campuses, and coordination with law enforcement
  5. Incentivize colleges and universities to address the problem by establishing enforceable Title IX penalties and stiffer penalties for Clery Act violations