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EVAWI > Resources > Best Practices > FAQs > Campus Responses
Q What training and other resources are available on sexual assault investigations for campus police departments?
A What training and other resources are available on sexual assault investigations for campus police departments?

We frequently receive requests for training on how to respond to sexual assault specifically within the campus environment, including campus law enforcement investigations, legal obligations under Title IX, and Clery Act responsibilities.

Responding to these requests is challenging because experts in the field have different pieces of this very complicated puzzle. We can therefore provide referrals in specific areas, but we also encourage campus professionals to take advantage of the training and technical assistance resources that EVAWI already offers, such as the OnLine Training Institute and webinars.

We often explain to college and university professionals that they will learn as much, if not more, from training that is NOT specifically focused on campuses. Professionals working in specialized settings (e.g., military installations, tribal lands, corrections) often think the issues in that environment are very "different," rather than recognizing that the foundation for every sexual assault investigation is the same. On campuses and in our communities, the dynamics of sexual violence are fundamentally the same - as are aspects of our responses to victims, suspects, and the investigation of reports.

The following organizations are examples of the referrals we provide to individuals looking for information specific to campuses:

  • The National Center for Campus Public Safety, whose mission is to bring together all forms of campus public safety, professional associations, advocacy organizations, community leaders, and others to improve and expand services to those who are charged with providing a safe environment on the campuses of the nation's colleges and universities.
  • The Clery Center for Security on Campus, a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to preventing violence, substance abuse and other crimes on college and university campuses across the United States, and to compassionately assist the victims of these crimes.
  • Not Alone, which was launched in connection with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, in order to provide information and resources for both students and schools.

These organizations offer a variety of resources specific to responding to gender-based violence occurring on campus. Here is just a small sample of what they offer:

  • The Clery Center offers an overview and a checklist of the VAWA Amendments to the Clery Act.
  • Also available from the Clery Center is a webinar entitled: Implementation of the Violence Against Women Act Amendments to the Clery Act. During the webinar, presenters Alison Kiss and Abigail Boyer provide information about VAWA regulations, including how campuses should implement new requirements in their policies and procedures.
  • A second webinar offered by the Clery Center is entitled, From Outline to Action: Implementation of the VAWA Amendments to Clery. The presentation is given by Jim Moore from the U.S. Department of Education, Clery Act Compliance Division. Among other topics, he describes how institutions can prepare for new requirements of the Clery Act to be enacted in 2015.
  • Not Alone offers a chart that highlights the intersections of Title IX and the Clery Act, as well as explaining the relationship to the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act (FERPA).
  • The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights offers a Q&A document on Title IX and sexual violence, to provide guidance for elementary and secondary schools as well as postsecondary institutions about their legal obligations.

As noted, the basis for investigating a sexual assault on campus is fundamentally the same as off campus. However, individuals can benefit from the resources provided above that pertain to legal obligations specific to campus environments.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K021 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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