Senator Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has sent a letter to California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White, California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities President Kristen F. Soares and California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools Executive Director Robert W. Johnson urging them to follow the lead of the University of California system which announced yesterday that it will create an independent confidential advocate on every campus by January 2015.
Last month, Senator Boxer sent a letter to the heads of organizations representing all California universities urging them to voluntarily implement the provisions of her Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act (SOS Campus Act) by creating an independent victim’s advocate on every campus. So far, the UC system is the only organization to announce its intention to adhere to Senator Boxer’s request.
Boxer wrote, “Yesterday, University of California (UC) President Janet Napolitano showed tremendous leadership by announcing that the UC system will be creating an independent confidential advocacy office for sexual assault victims on each of its campuses by January 2015. I strongly urge you to follow that lead.”
Senator Boxer introduced the SOS Campus Act with Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) in July. The legislation would require every institution of higher education that receives federal funding to designate an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response. The advocate would be responsible for ensuring that survivors of sexual assault – regardless of whether they decide to report the crime – have access to:
· Emergency and follow-up medical care
· Guidance on reporting assaults to law enforcement
· Medical forensic or evidentiary exams
· Crisis intervention, ongoing counseling and assistance throughout the process
· Information on their legal rights
The advocate will also conduct a public information campaign on the campuses.
“The school year is now underway, and while students should be focusing on their studies, the devastating reality is that far too many of them face the threat of sexual assault during their time at college. They are counting on us to not only educate them, but also to protect them,” Boxer concluded. ” I look forward to hearing back from you quickly with a response.”
The bill is supported by the University of California, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Women’s Law Center, Break the Cycle, Jewish Women International, the American Association of University Women, Futures Without Violence, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County, the Association of Title IX Administrators and Savannah Badalich, Founder of UCLA’s 7000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault.