FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/07/2017
Victoria Neave Passes Amendment Requiring Investigation of Campus Sexual Assault Policies
Austin, TX: The Texas House of Representatives today approved an amendment to the house budget by Representative Victoria Neave (D-107) that would require an investigation of sexual assault policies on public and private universities. The investigation would also include a review of policies that keep students from reporting those incidents or of hindering investigations of those reports.
"Sexual assault is a serious matter," said Rep. Victoria Neave. "We cannot allow universities in this state - public or private - to obstruct justice, resort to victim blaming, or by practice or policy, discourage reporting of rape. We need to examine the policies that are deterring students from reporting sexual assault or are hindering these investigations."
More than 18,000 incidents of sexual assault were reported in Texas in 2015 according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. A survey by the Center for Disease Control shows that nearly 20% of women in the U.S. have been the victim of rape or an attempted rape. A 2017 University of Texas survey of 28,000 students shows that 15 percent of undergraduate female students at the University of Texas at Austin said they have been raped. A 2015 survey of 27 universities conducted by the Association of American Universities found that more than 60 percent of respondents said they believe that a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct would not be taken seriously by campus officials.
Rep. Victoria Neave's amendment directs the Department of Public Safety's Special Investigations division to investigate campus policies on sexual assault and submit a report to the legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Based on the report, THECB would review the policies that have the effect of deterring students from reporting incidents of sexual assault or hindering the investigation of those reports.
Victoria Neave represents Texas House District 107, which includes parts of East Dallas, Mesquite, and Garland. She serves on the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence and the House County Affairs Committees.