The federal government is pushing colleges for the first time to make public a tally of reports of dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
The Obama administration announced Thursday that proposed regulations will require colleges to compile and disclose statistics on such incidents to comply with a federal law enacted last year. A final version of the regulations is expected to be published on Nov. 1.
The Education Department “has the responsibility to ensure that our higher education institutions are creating safe environments for students and are appropriately reporting crimes that occur on or near their campuses,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “These new rules strengthen schools’ capacity to provide safer college campuses for students and to keep everyone better informed about campus security policies and procedures.”
Currently, a federal law known as the Clery Act requires colleges to disclose data on reports of forcible sex offenses and other crimes. The proposed rules would expand on that disclosure requirement, adding dating violence, domestic violence and stalking to the specific offenses colleges must track. The proposal stems from changes made last year to the Violence Against Women Act.
“When fully implemented, these rules will allow us to drag the issue of sexual assault on campus out of the shadows so that we can begin working constructively to address the problem,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
The proposed rules come as President Obama and other federal officials have raised the profile of campus security issues, pushing colleges across the country to take steps to prevent sexual violence.