Campus sexual assault

Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on campus sexual assault. 

An estimated one in five women reports being sexually assaulted while in college. Hillary Clinton will fight to bring an end to sexual assault on America’s campuses—because every student deserves a safe environment where they can learn and thrive, not live in fear.

Thanks to the efforts of advocates and survivors, we are seeing the beginnings of good work around the country. President Obama’s administration has worked hard to shine a light on campus sexual assault.

Hillary’s plan to end campus sexual assault is guided by three core principles:

  1. Provide comprehensive support to survivors. Every campus should offer survivors the support they need—no matter their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or race. Those services, from counseling to critical health care, should be confidential, comprehensive, and coordinated.
  2. Ensure a fair process for all. Too often, the process of addressing a sexual assault on campus is confusing and convoluted. Many who choose to report sexual assault in the criminal justice system fear that their voices will be dismissed instead of heard. We need a fair process for all involved, whether that’s in campus disciplinary proceedings or in the criminal justice system. All parties involved should have notice and transparency in campus disciplinary proceedings, and complaints filed in the criminal justice system must be treated seriously.
  3. Increasing prevention efforts. It’s not enough to address this problem by responding only once sexual assault occurs—we need to redouble our prevention efforts and start them earlier. We should increase sexual violence prevention education programs that cover issues like consent and bystander intervention and make sure we have programs not only in college but also in secondary school.

Hillary has led efforts to address violence against women her entire career:

  • As first lady, Hillary supported the creation of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. She cast a global spotlight on the issue in her historic 1995 Beijing speech, where she denounced violence against women as a clear violation of human rights.
  • As senator, Hillary co-sponsored the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Additionally, Hillary introduced the CARE Act twice, to ensure that rape and incest victims had access to emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms. In response to the spike in reports of sexual assault cases in the military, she introduced legislation to make emergency contraception available to servicewomen.
  • As secretary of state, Hillary rallied the international community to take collective action to end violence against women. She drew attention to the use of rape as a weapon of war and spearheaded a U.N. Resolution that established guidelines for an international response to sexual assault in war-torn areas.