New Campus Obligations under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
What is VAWA?
On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed into federal law the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), which is aimed at improving how colleges and universities in the U.S. address sexual violence. This new law imposes obligations for the District to revise its policy and practices to comply with new regulations that addresses and prohibits acts of violence such as, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and it clarifies the rights of victims. The new regulations also include:
- Reporting campus crime statistics beyond the crime categories that the Clery Act already mandates, to which now include incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, as well as crimes motivated by gender identity or national origin;
- Providing comprehensive educational prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and new employees, in addition to ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students, faculty and employees that identifies and defines sexual assault, rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; and
- Conducting annual training for investigators and hearing officers who investigate and review reported offenses.
In addition, both Title IX and VAWA legislation permits the District to assist both the victim and the accused with:
- An investigation
- Counseling and medical services
Choosing a support person to accompany them throughout proceedings
- Allowing the victim and the accused to attend different classes
- Academic support services