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VAWA/Campus SaVE Act Training Requirements for Students

Hillary Pettegrew, Esq.
April 2021

Why Read This

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, which is part of the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA), requires higher education institutions to train their students on sexual violence and related issues. It applies to all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs. Unlike Title IX, it doesn’t affect K-12 schools.

Training requirements outlined below are in the statutory language, the final regulations issued by the Department of Education (ED) in October 2014, or both. The regulations took effect in July 2015.

For the most part, the regulations don’t provide significantly more help in understanding the training requirements than the language of the Campus SaVE Act itself. ED notes in the preamble, for example, that the statute doesn’t “mandate student or employee participation in prevention training, nor does the statute authorize the Department to specify what an institution’s training must contain. The statute and the regulations contain broad guidelines and definitions to assist institutions in developing training that takes into consideration the characteristics of each campus.”

Key Takeaways

  • Institutions must provide incoming and current students with the same training content to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • ED encourages schools to make student training mandatory to increase its effectiveness.
  • The statute and regulations don’t specifically address the frequency of student training.

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