Virginia Takes Campus Sexual Assault Seriously!


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In a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD), an extensive article, “State task force releases recommendations to combat campus sexual assault.” The 21 recommendations devised by the 30-member task force were briefed in the newspaper.

Among the key recommendations in the article:
  • Require public and private higher education institutions to establish sexual assault response teams representing a cross-section of the campus community.
  • Require colleges and universities to formalize agreements with local law enforcement officials on preventing and responding to sexual assault.
  • Create campus comprehensive prevention plans that increase awareness, change attitudes and modify high-risk behaviors such as alcohol abuse.
  • Make law enforcement prevention efforts part of coordinated campus and community sexual assault prevention.
  • Use emerging technologies, infographics and online portals to improve and increase options for reporting sexual violence.
  • Create a public awareness campaign, called “Start by Believing,” to encourage victims to report assaults.

RTD quoted Attorney General Mark R. Herring as saying:

“No one should fear that they will become the victim of sexual violence…Nor should they fear that reports of sexual violence will be met with suspicion or, worse, indifference.”

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was quoted as saying:

“These bills strengthen the resources our schools provide to survivors and offer a common-sense approach to reporting crimes without compromising a survivor’s right to privacy.”

As individuals, we need to stay informed as these 21 recommendations are implemented. We may find a means to support the effort to combat sexual assault.