Your child’s protections under the Clery Act and Women’s Against Violence Act

For parents of college students, the day their children depart for school is one of exhilaration and pride, but it also comes with unspeakable worry about campus safety. The Jeanne Clery Act — a federal law named for a Lehigh University student hideously murdered in her dorm room in 1986 — empowers the families and loved ones of students with knowledge and resources that allow all involved to be safer.

To be specific, the Clery Act mandates that all colleges and universities receiving government money must collect, maintain, and publicly share information regarding crime on and around their campus areas.

In addition, the Clery Act demands assistance for victims. Schools must maintain resources to aid anyone on campus who falls prey to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. The law demands that victims should be offered any type of change to their personal situation as it relates to housing, transportation, or workplace arrangements. All learning institutions are also required to maintain a record of their crime information for a minimum of seven years.

Background
In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542), which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This act required all postsecondary institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was amended in 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2008. The 1998 amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986.
It is generally referred to as the Clery Act and is in section 485(f) of the HEA.
On March 7, 2013, the Violence Against Women
Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) (Public Law 113-14) was
signed into law. VAWA includes amendments to the Clery Act.
These changes require institutions to disclose statistics, policies and programs related to dating violence, domestic violence,sexual assault and stalking, among other changes. Specifically,these changes added or modified requirements related to
• disclosure of statistics of the number of dating
violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and
stalking incidents;
• disclosure of statistics of new categories of Hate
Crimes;
• implementation by institutions and disclosure of
programs to prevent dating violence, domestic
violence, sexual assault and stalking, including
– primary prevention and awareness programs for
incoming students and employees; and – ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns
for students and employees;
• disclosure of procedures victims should follow if a
crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual
assault or stalking has occurred; and
• implementation by institutions and disclosure of
procedures for institutional disciplinary action in
cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual
assault and stalking, including
– descriptions of each disciplinary proceeding
used by the institution, the standard of evidence
used during each disciplinary proceeding,
possible sanctions imposed following the
results of disciplinary proceedings, and the
range of protective measures that the institution
may offer a victim;
– provisions to ensure that proceedings will be
prompt, fair and impartial;
– provisions that state that proceedings will be
conducted by officials who receive annual
training; and
– ensuring equal opportunities for the accuser
and accused to have others present during
proceedings, including an advisor of their
choice.

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