Federal agency launches website to help universities, colleges deal with campus violence

The Office on Violence Against Women has launched a website aimed at helping colleges and universities deal with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.
The Office on Violence Against Women has launched a website aimed at helping colleges and universities deal with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.

The Office on Violence Against Women this week launched a website aimed at helping colleges and universities deal with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus. The office, which is in the U.S. Department of Justice, calls the site a “comprehensive online clearinghouse.”

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An introductory video on the site features Bea Hanson, principal deputy director of the office. She says the site includes information from a variety of sources focused on prevention, policy and other topics.

“It’s designed to provide campus administrators, faculty and staff, campus and community law enforcement, victim service providers, students, parents and other key stakeholders with the resources needed to enhance campus safety,” Hanson said.

The website was launched  nearly a year after the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office announced it would beinvestigating post-secondary institutions across the nation — including the University of Alaska system — to determine whether they are handling reports of sexual violence according to federal law.

An Aug. 5 list from the Department of Education shows 129 institutions are under investigation. The department says the list includes institutions that are being investigated for cause and others that are subject to a compliance review. An attorney for the university told KTOO in September that their investigation fell into the latter category.

In February, the University of Alaska launched a survey to determine if sexual assault on campus was a bigger problem than they knew and how well they were handling it. The survey was sent out to 15,000 randomly selected students, faculty and staff who can respond anonymously. A university attorney said the results of the survey would not be published.