Over 20 Colleges and Universities Fail to Comply with New Anti-Violence Law


As part of a broader campaign to highlight the reality of dating violence on campus, students and survivors recently took to Twitter to put pressure on their schools to comply with the new Campus SaVE provisions of the Clery Act, passed as part of the 2013 VAWA reauthorization. In addition to older requirements that colleges and universities disclose incidents of sexual assault, the new provisions mandate that schools publicly disclose the number of reports of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking received each year, beginning with a “good faith effort” this calendar year. Schools were required to publish these reports by October 1st, 2014 but, as students working with Know Your IX documented on Twitter under the #SaVEOurCampuses hashtag, it’s clear many schools aren’t making any effort to comply at all.

So far, students have documented more than 20 institutions of higher education (full list after the jump) that have failed to publish online the number of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking reports they received in 2013. We hear everyday about universities needing to completely overhaul their sexual violence policies and practices, but publishing this data is easy, low-hanging fruit. It’s inexcusable some schools aren’t doing it.

Still other colleges (including my own alma mater Amherst College, which disclosed 0 reports of dating violence and 1 report of domestic violence; and the University of Mississippi, which disclosed 0 reports of dating violence and 9 reports of domestic violence on a campus of some 20,000 students) are publishing numbers so low, it’s clear the school has made the process of reporting violence so burdensome, confusing, or unknown that survivors don’t feel safe reporting at all. (In general — and perhaps counterintuitively — the lower a school’s reporting numbers, the less safe the campus; in contrast, higher reporting numbers suggest a school is taking survivors seriously, prioritizing students’ safety over the institution’s reputation, and making the reporting process known, accessible, and trusted.)

Some schools, called out by student organizers on social media, have acted fast to fix their reports, thanking students for letting them know. It’s great to see some colleges acknowledging their mistakes and responding positively to students’ and survivors’ concerns (shoutout to Juniata College and Soka University of America). And it’s exciting to see the power of student activism in making tangible change. But it shouldn’t be students’ job to remind schools to comply with the law, or to enforce it. That’s the federal government’s.

“It’s On Us” shouldn’t mean “Just on Students.”

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As of October 10th, the following schools have failed to publish statistics on dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as mandated under the Campus SaVE provisions of the Clery Act. Is your college complying with the law? Look up your school’s 2014 Clery Report, send your findings to Know Your IX here, and then tweet them at @usedgov using the #SaVEOurCampuses hashtag.

IMG_4962Dana Bolger is a founding co-director of Know Your IX and guest contributor to Feministing. She tweets at @danabolger.

New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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