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Legislative Advocacy Guest Post!

Here’s a guest post from one of our awesome CAPS volunteers, Becca Loya. Enjoy!

A recently proposed piece of federal legislation with bipartisan support aims to reduce sexual assault on college campuses and to define a baseline of services schools must offer to survivors. On November 30th, Representatives Thomas Perriello of Virginia and John Duncan of Tennessee introduced the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE) (HR 6461). SaVE would require colleges and universities to develop and distribute policies on sexual assault and intimate partner violence, including notifying survivors of their rights and establishing clear procedures for discipline for reported cases of assault.  SaVE would also require schools to offer survivors assistance changing their academic, living, transportation, and/or work situations to feel safer.  Importantly, SaVE recognizes the value of education to reduce sexual assault.  It specifically would require schools to educate their communities on the definition of consent, how to report offenses on and off campus, bystander intervention, and risk reduction through ongoing prevention campaigns. BARCC is ahead of the curve on the community education piece.  BARCC’s Community Awareness and Prevention Services (CAPS) program offers workshops on consent and bystander intervention. SaVE was referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

HR 6461- The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act)
Bottom line: Schools will develop and distribute policies regarding their sexual assault and intimate partner violence programs.
Establish Procedures for Responding to an Incident of Intimate Partner Violence
* Any student or employee who reports that they have been a victim of intimate partner violence will receive in writing an explanation of their rights to notify law enforcement and receive assistance from the school in doing so
* An explanation of their rights to obtain a protective order from a local court
* Contact information for counseling, health, mental health, legal assistance and other on-campus and community resources.
* The school will help enforce protective orders

Education of Campus Community
* Schools will include prevention and awareness programming for incoming students and new employees including:
* Definition of consent
* How to report offenses on and off campus
* Bystander intervention
* Risk reduction
* The schools will conduct ongoing prevention campaigns to students and faculty to promote this information.
Procedures For On Campus Discipline in Cases of Alleged Offenses:
* Accuser can request prompt disciplinary hearings against the accused which will be conducted by officials who understand the unique circumstances of these crimes, and will use the preponderance of evidence standard.
* Both the accuser and the accused have the right to have others present at the hearing including an advisor of their choice and both will be informed in writing of the outcome of the proceeding.
* A student or employee who reports they have been a victim can receive assistance changing their academic, living, transportation, and/or working situations.

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Posted by Shira

Shira formerly served as a volunteer with BARCC's Survivor Speakers Bureau and Prevention Services. She also formerly worked as BARCC's volunteer and program assistant. Shira also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories and poetry, and much of her outreach was done within the community of science-fiction fandom and the closely-allied local polyamory community.

1 Comment

  1. And furthermore, Polly, uisnsaka, and Jennifer, if a bloke goes out and gets too drunk to look after himself and then gets beaten up (as happened to an ex of mine after getting into an unlicensed minicab), no-one would DREAM of telling them they'd best avoid getting so drunk in future. I agree absolutely that we need an overhaul of the justice system as it relates to rape. But I think we also need an overhaul of society. We need to tell men that they have a responsibility not to rape. And when they as they always do get all upset and insulted because they wouldn't *dream* of raping a woman, we need to tell then that THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.They need to stop allowing rape jokes to be told everywhere, and to stop joking about how drunk girls are a good bet. They need to bloody well start openly disapproving of rape, not just Stranger In An Alley rape but fumbling, drunken, acquaintance rape too, because right now that doesn't happen. I hear the But how are we supposed to knoooow!' far too often these days. I wonder and would this be traumatic for victims? if the govt could run ads showing various fumbly situations? Because to me, the idea that you wouldn't know if someone wasn't consenting is such bullshit. You fucking well would, and they do, and this fallacy of uncertainty needs to be exposed for the pathetic, andocentric bollocks it is.

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