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Bill to combat sexual assaults on college campuses reintroduced with bipartisan support

Virginia's Mark Warner among bill's sponsors

WASHINGTON – A group of United States senators is crossing party lines in a renewed effort to attack the issues of sexual assault on college campuses.

The Campus Accountability and Safety Act would reform the way institutions handle incidents of on-campus sexual assault and ensure that investigations and disciplinary proceedings are fair and consistent.

Furthermore, it would also create new resources and support services for survivors, and set new notification requirements for both survivors and accused students involved in the campus disciplinary process. 

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced the bill Tuesday.

“In recent years, the brave individuals behind the #MeToo movement have successfully increased public awareness and discussion about sexual assault and harassment, and Congress has a responsibility to support these efforts with legislation that focuses on preventing sexual assault in colleges and universities across the nation,” said Warner. “I am very proud to reintroduce the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which demands greater transparency, consistency, and accountability from our institutions of higher learning.”

This legislation would accomplish the following six things:

•  Establish new campus resources and support services for student survivors 
•  Require fairness in the campus disciplinary process
•  Ensure minimum training standards for on-campus personnel 
•  Create historic new transparency requirements   
•  Ensure coordination with law enforcement
•  Establish stiffer penalties for violations

The bill was first introduced to the 113th Congress.

In addition to Warner, Gillibrand and Grassley, other co-sponsors include Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).