Tester takes action to stop sexual violence on college campuses

Senator sponsors bipartisan bill to enhance campus response to sexual violence and support survivors

(U.S. Senate) – With a recent report finding that most instances of campus sexual assault go unreported, Senator Jon Tester is taking action to help put an end to sexual violence on college campuses and provide greater support to survivors.

Senator Tester today sponsored the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act that will encourage more students to report sexual assault crimes by establishing new campus resources for student survivors and streamlining disciplinary action by campus officials. Tester’s bill requires college campuses to establish support services to better assist sexual assault survivors in seeking care and pursuing justice. The bill also provides specialized training to campus personnel so they can better handle assault claims and ensures that all student disciplinary proceedings are handled by the same body.

“Sexual assault hurts communities and college campuses. We’ve seen it in Montana and across the nation. We must continue to take steps to support survivors and help bring offenders to justice,” Tester said. “This bill will help ensure that campuses address these crimes and that students can report sexual violence without fear of retribution.”

The Justice Department reports that college-aged women are three times as likely as other women to experience rape or sexual assault.

The bill also requires schools to conduct anonymous surveys of students’ experiences with sexual violence on campus and make those findings publicly available.

Tester said he is encouraged by the progress Montana’s universities are already making on this issue. The Montana University System has implemented many of the provisions in Tester’s bill in recent years.

The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act is available online HERE.