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Report: 1 in 3 Colleges Don't Have Sexual Assault Training for Students

WASHINGTON -- An extensive survey of colleges nationwide, show many do not provide sexual assault training for faculty, staff or students.
WASHINGTON -- An extensive survey of colleges nationwide, show many do not provide sexual assault training for faculty, staff or students.

The results were released Wednesday morning by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), who recently held roundtable discussions about sexual assaults on campus.

In a news release from her office, McCaskill called the survey results "a wakeup call’ for schools.

According to the survey, more than 40 percent of schools have not conducted a single investigation in five years,
21 percent of schools provide no training to faculty & staff, and 31 percent provide no training for students

The extensive survey involved 440 institutions of higher education-with the schools surveyed representing institutions currently educating more than five million students across the country.

The results, McCaskill says "demonstrates a disturbing failure by many institutions to comply with the law and with best practices in how they handle sexual violence against students-failures which affect nearly every stage of the institutions’ responses to sexual violence."

Among the findings in McCaskill’s survey:

•         Investigations:  Federal law requires every institution that knows or reasonably should have known about an alleged sexual assault to conduct an investigation. But 41 percent of schools surveyed have not conducted a single investigation in the past five years. More than 21 percent of the nation’s largest private institutions conducted fewer investigations than the number of incidents they reported to the Department of Education, with some institutions reporting as many as seven times more incidents of sexual violence than they have investigated.

•         Training:  21 percent of institutions surveyed provide no sexual assault response training at all for members of their faculty and staff.  31 percent of schools do not provide any sexual assault training for students.

•         Title IX coordinator:  Colleges and universities are required to assign a staff or faculty member as a Title IX coordinator, with responsibility for coordinating the institution’s compliance efforts, including investigations of sexual harassment and sexual violence, but more than 10 percent of institutions surveyed do not have a Title IX coordinator.

•         Adjudication:  Federal law requires institutions that receive claims of sexual assault to conduct an adjudication process to determine whether an assault occurred and, if it did, to reach a determination. But:
o   33 percent of schools failed to provide basic training to the people adjudicating claims.
o   43 percent of the nation’s largest public schools let students help adjudicate cases.
o   22 percent of institutions give athletic departments oversight of cases involving athletes.

•         Climate surveys:  Confidential climate surveys of students are one of the best ways to get an accurate portrait of assaults on a campus, but only 16 percent of schools conduct climate surveys.

•         Coordination with law enforcement:  Law enforcement officials at 30 percent of institutions receive no training on how to respond to reports of sexual violence, and 73 percent of institutions have no protocols on how the institution & law enforcement work together to respond to such violence.

McCaskill says the survey will be used to come up with solutions which may include new legislation for colleges and universities.

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