Maloney applauds White House efforts to curb campus sexual assaults

Apr 29, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), author of the Campus SaVE Act, today released the following statement applauding the recommendations of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

“Every year an alarming number of women are sexually assaulted while in college, and urgent action is needed by our schools, government, and law enforcement to protect women on campuses across the nation. I applaud the President for his strong commitment to stopping sexual violence on college campuses. The task force recommendations build on the Campus SaVE Act’s protections, which were included in the Violence Against Women Act renewal. Strengthening federal law enforcement and providing schools with the tools they need to stop sexual assaults is critical.

“In January, I sent a letter with Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) to the Department of Education seeking many of the reforms outlined in the task force report released today. I am pleased to see that the President is taking action in response to these requests and the calls of countless other advocates who are deeply concerned about this problem.

“Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted, and 80 percent of the victims are under age 30. One in five women is sexually assaulted while attending college. We have to do more as a country to not just improve the responsiveness of our criminal justice system, but also change the social norms that allow sexual violence to continue.”

Background:

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) is the author of several laws to address sexual violence, including:

Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act
(H.R. 812, 113th Congress) The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (S. 47, 113th Congress) included the Campus SaVE Act, H.R. 812 [113th Congress]. This legislation requires institutions of higher education to develop and communicate their policies on dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence. It further requires colleges and universities to collect and disclose information about sexual assault, and to update and expand related services on their campuses. [Public Law 113-4, signed March 7, 2013]

Sexual Assault Forensic Reporting (SAFER) Act
(H.R. 594, 113th Congress) The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (S. 47, 113th Congress) included the SAFER Act, H.R. 354 [113th Congress]. Originally introduced by Rep. Maloney in 2010 and sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) in the 113th Congress, this legislation reallocates existing Debbie Smith Appropriations so that 75 percent of the funding is spent processing untested rape kits. It also provides grants for state and local governments to conduct audits of unprocessed kits in their backlog. [Public Law 113-4, signed March 7, 2013]

The Debbie Smith Act
(H.R. 1046, 108th Congress) This legislation was included in H.R. 3214, "The Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act," which passed the House of Representatives on November 5, 2003, 357 - 67.  H.R. 3214 was included in H.R. 5107, the "Justice For All Act," which passed both chambers of Congress on October 9, 2004, and was signed into law by the president.  Provisions of the Debbie Smith Act included in H.R. 5107/3214 include the authorization of $755 million for the new Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program to process the backlog of DNA evidence kits currently sitting on shelves across the country; the creation of a new grant program for SANE programs; and the authorization of funding to process federal offender DNA samples and include them in the national DNA database. [Public Law 108-405, signed October 30, 2004]

Bringing Justice to the Victims of Military Sexual Assaults
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 (H.R. 4200) conference report includes an amendment, sponsored by Congresswoman Maloney, which directs the Secretary of Defense to eliminate the backlog in rape and sexual assault evidence collection kits, reduce the processing time of those kits, and provide an adequate supply of the kits at all domestic and overseas U.S. military installations and military academies.  The provisions in this legislation also direct the Secretary to ensure that personnel are trained in the use of these kits. [Public Law 108-375, signed October 28, 2004]