VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT
The recently issued Violence Against Women Act regulations took effect July 1, 2015. These regulations impose new obligations that cannot be underestimated. Enforcement of institutions’ obligations stemming from VAWA and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act is at an all-time high with over 100 institutions currently being investigated for compliance for their response to reports of sexual violence. This includes investigations of elite institutions such as Dartmouth, Princeton, Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Brown.
The Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Education recently reported that these investigations are taking, on average, over 1000 days to complete. The new VAWA regulations require your Institution to institute new reporting requirements, new student disciplinary hearing procedures, and new programs/campaigns to prevent not only sexual violence, but also dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, The regulations also create new responsibilities in aiding in the preservation of evidence and to train disciplinary hearing officers in properly dealing with allegations of sexual and associational violence.
In short, compliance with these regulations demands specialized legal expertise that the Gallegos Legal Group can offer. Founder Yolanda Gallegos has recently published a chapter on the VAWA regulations in Emerging Issues in College and University Campus Security, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore, 2015. Print. The Gallegos Legal Group can help your institution comply and carry out the necessary comprehensive planning and buy-in from several divisions of your Institution including security, student services, counseling, human resources, and marketing. This cannot be accomplished overnight, but with proper planning and coordination, an Institution may expect to provide more meaningful protection of its students and employees and a greater understanding of its role and obligations in preventing campus violence.