WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government is trying to make people more aware of the extent of sexual assault on campuses.
Colleges and universities are required to compile and make crime statistics available on stalking, dating violence and domestic violence under a new rule announced Friday by the Education Department.
The change falls under the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to report crime statistics on or near their campuses and provide warnings in a timely manner if safety is threatened. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 signed by President Barack Obama amended the Clery Act. Victims’ advocates have said the statistics, as currently compiled, don’t provide a full picture of the extent of such crimes.
The rule makes other changes such as adding gender identity and national origin as categories of bias under the Clery Act’s definition of hate crimes. And, it requires colleges to ensure that both the accuser and the accused have an equal opportunity to have an adviser of their choice present at discipline hearings.
The rule goes into effect July 1.
The administration has taken a series of steps this year to fight campus sexual assault, including work by a White House sexual assault task force that encouraged greater protections for victims.