Gatto became interested in the subject after Occidental College failed to report dozens of sexual assault allegations in 2010 and 2011, which he suspects was to improve their image. Several others have also faced investigations and lawsuits recently for failing to disclose information about crimes that happen on or near campuses, a requirement under the federal Clery Act. "That's a really poor excuse to fail to investigate a crime like rape. We want to make sure administrations can't keep stuff hush hush in hopes of making it seem like a school is safe than it really is."
Gatto's legislation will not require campus law enforcement agencies to report rapes to police if the victim specifically requests that they do not report it. Gatto added this exception after discussing the bill with rape survivor and UC Berkeley student, Sofie Karasek, who advised him that the survivor's wishes should be taken into account and respected. Many survivors do not want to report a rape to police because of the stressful reporting and trial process, fear of being blamed or disbelieved, or discomfort with the police, particularly for undocumented students.
If universities do not comply with the new requirements, they can be held liable for damages for negligence.
Media Resources: Newsweek 1/6/14; Examiner 1/8/14; Feminist Newswire 9/16/13, 12/11/13
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .