Preventing Relationship Violence and Stalking
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (Campus SaVE) Act requires colleges and universities to address dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Provide enhanced training programs and annual security reporting to protect students from relationship violence.
Studies indicate that relationship violence, which includes domestic and dating violence, is a concern for college-age populations. Nearly a quarter of college rape or sexual assaults against females are perpetrated by an intimate partner, and many stalking victims are under age 25, federal studies show. However, because relationship violence and stalking often occur behind the scenes, your institution might not be aware of their prevalence.
Definitions of Crimes to Add to Security Reports
The Campus SaVE Act adds domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the list of crimes that the Clery Act requires institutions to include in their annual security report. Use these definitions — which also cover gay, lesbian, and transgender students’ relationships — when determining what to report under Clery (see Compliance Guide: Campus SaVE Act/Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 for full definitions):
- Domestic violence: Felony or misdemeanor crimes that a current or former spouse of the victim perpetrates.
- Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
- Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Training and Prevention
Provide training for students to increase their awareness of relationship violence and stalking. This may prevent future incidents.
The Campus SaVE Act requires your institution to train new students and employees on the warning signs of abusive behavior and how to prevent and report relationship violence and stalking. Training must include:
- Statement of prohibition
- Jurisdiction’s definitions
- Safe and positive options for bystanders who witness such acts
- Information about risk reduction
Your institution also must conduct ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for current students and faculty.
Consider additional awareness strategies. Take these steps:
- Create partnerships with local and national organizations for victims of relationship violence or stalking.
- Display easily accessible information about campus services, local and national hotlines, and enforcement of criminal laws and conduct codes on the school website. For example: National Domestic Violence Hotline ─ (800) 799-7233 (domestic violence, stalking); Loveisrespect.org ─ (866) 331-9474 (relationship violence, stalking); and National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline ─ (866) 331-9474 (dating violence, stalking)
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About the Author
Melanie Bennett, Esq.
ARM-E, Senior Risk Management Counsel
In her role on UE’s Risk Research team, Melanie dives into timely topics affecting education. Her areas of expertise include pandemic response, protecting minors, enterprise risk management (ERM), technology accessibility, and athletics. Prior to joining UE, she interned at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.