Sexual Assault Prevention Resources: Legislation in Brief

Sexual Assault Prevention Resources: Legislation in Brief

Over the past 40 years, a variety of legislative actions have been put in place to ensure fairness, equality, education, and support aimed at reducing instances of discrimination and sexualized violence on college campuses. Below you will find a brief summary of each, as well as links where you can find additional information.

Legislation in Brief

Legal Actions in Place

Clery Act:
Developed following the death of Jeanne Clery, a college student who was brutally raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986, the Clery Act is a law that requires all colleges and universities to document crime and safety within their communities in a variety of ways:

  • An Annual Security Report which contains statistical information about crimes on-campus, security policies and ongoing trainings for faculty, staff and students.
  • Timely Warning Notifications that are sent out to the campus community whenever a crime that poses a serious threat has occurred or is currently occurring. These must be done in a way that is designed to reach the campus community at large.
  • Comprehensive educational offerings related to violence prevention

The Clery Act was amended by the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 (see below). As such, campuses must also have a Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights. This document provides information about victim rights; judicial processes and educational offerings around the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These amendments to VAWA focused on increased transparency, students’ rights, conduct proceedings and prevention training.


Violence Against Women Act:
VAWA is a federal law intended to increase education related to sexualized violence, expand the scope of programs and services offered to survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Although titled the “Violence Against Women Act”, it is important to note that this act is applicable to all people.


Title IX:
Protects all members of a college community from sex-based discrimination, harassment, violence, or abuse. Each University is required to have a Title IX Coordinator, who typically oversees several deputies. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that incidents of sex-based discrimination (including sexual assault) are responded to promptly, and that all members of a campus community are provided the rights afforded to them by this act.

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