New Campus Accountability and Safety Act Designed to Combat Sexual Assault

An upgraded version of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act was announced yesterday with heavy support among senators and sexual assault prevention advocacy groups.

A new version of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, or CASA, was introduced in the Senate yesterday based on input from victims, students, colleges, law enforcement and advocates.

The bill, which builds on many of the original provisions of the CASA, would change the way colleges and universities address and report cases of sexual assault on campus. A number of senators and campus safety advocacy groups spoke in support of the legislation, according to a press release on New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s website. Gillibrand is one of a bipartisan group of 12 Senators who introduced the bill.

Calling the legislation a reflection of the input lawmakers got from survivors, advocates and universities, Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri) said the bill gives universities and students better-informed guidelines to deal with sexual assault cases.

Although the old version of CASA introduced increased training, student surveying, new resources for victims and harsher penalties for schools who don’t comply with national reporting standards of sexual assaults, the bill introduced yesterday goes a step further.

New provisions of the bill include clarification of jurisdictions between local law enforcement agencies and campus authorities, more campus resources and support for sexual assault victims and stiffer penalties for Title IX and Clery Act violations.

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, colleges and universities must provide an environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities under law.

Photo Wikimedia, Kmccoy

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Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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