Combating Campus Sexual Assault

Jul 30, 2014

Credit Getty Images/NPR

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner helped introduce a bill today to combat the high rates of sexual assaults on college campuses.


If you don’t attend college, your chance of being sexually assaulted in the U-S is lower than if you do go to a university.

"The statistics are appalling, but the stories are heart breaking," said Sen. Warner.

Current statistics show nearly 20 percent of females who attend colleges are sexually assaulted. Universities are colleges are required to report the rate of sexual assaults on campus to the Department of Education, but critics say many don’t reveal the numbers in order to attract more students. Warner’s bill would require every school in the U-S to release results of an annual anonymous student survey about assaults.

"You've got to have good data. You've got to have data that is clear, consistent...the ability of the colleges to have the incentive to report this data in a clear and concise way. And it's got to be actionable."

The legislation also forces schools to provide confidential advisors to victims and forbids athletic departments from handling sexual assault cases themselves. The bill is supported by four Democrats and four Republicans in the Senate.