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Sexual Assaults on Campus

The Crime Victims’ Institute is leading the way to help Texas colleges respond to sexual assaults on campus.

The Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University will co-host a statewide training for law enforcement officers, victim advocates, and campus professionals on how to address sexual assault on college campuses.

The training, which will be held on Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Texas, Thompson Conference Center, in Austin, will provide an overview on sexual assault on college campuses and cover a wide variety of topics that can serve as a foundation for responding to these crimes at universities, colleges and community colleges across the state. The program is co-sponsored by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), a statewide advocacy group for survivors of sexual assault.

The training is designed for staff and administrators who work with college students and community professionals, such as law enforcement, victim service professionals, SANE nurses, and college and university staff from student life, resident life, campus health, student affairs, Greek organizations, women’s centers, administration, athletic departments and more. Registration is available at http://www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/csaregistration.

The training will discuss the needs of student victims and discuss collaborative efforts among victim services, campus administrators, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system. It also will examine what some colleges are doing to address the challenges of sexual violence on campus.

The training will also review federal requirements for sexual assault responses in higher education, including the Clery Act, Title IX and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act. The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to provide students with information about campus crime and security policies, including the number of sexual assaults and other crimes that occur on campus.

Title IX of the Education Act prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, and it includes protection against sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual assault and governs how campuses respond to sexual assault cases. Finally, the SaVE Act will require that schools provide sexual assault victims with contact information for legal assistance, counseling and health services. In addition, officials handling disciplinary proceedings would be required to receive annual training, and campus crime reports would be expanded to include reports of stalking and domestic violence. The act will take effect in 2014.

The Crime Victims’ Institute is a leading voice for victims’ issues in Texas. Created by the Legislature in 1995, the Institute conducts research and provides information to policy makers and the public about victim related issues. TAASA is an advocacy group for sexual assault survivors, supporting legislation to strengthen laws and providing statewide and regional trainings and information to more than 100,000 residents in the state.

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