Kuster, Speier, Fitzpatrick, and Adams Reintroduce HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act to Strengthen Prevention Efforts, Hold Perpetrators Accountable
(Washington, DC) – This week, Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Alma S. Adams (D-NC) reintroduced the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Violence Act, a bipartisan bill with 32 cosponsors. The Act will strengthen prevention efforts and the enforcement of laws to eradicate the epidemic of campus sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable.
“No student should ever fear for their safety on the campus they call home,” said Rep. Kuster, co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “As co-chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, Rep. Speier and I are bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to work toward solutions that will make our schools and communities safer. We continue to hear extremely alarming stories about the pervasiveness of sexual violence on campuses across the country. We were elected to take action, and Congress must move with urgency to end this outrageous epidemic. By strengthening prevention and enforcement efforts on college campuses, as well as improving coordination and public awareness, the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Violence Act is an important step forward. I am pleased to join with my colleagues to help introduce this important legislation.”
“This Sunday marks the 47th anniversary of Title IX becoming law, yet students at colleges and universities across the country continue to report unequal access to education due to sexual harassment and assault. The grim reality is 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are destined to become victims of sexual violence on campus. This is a national outrage and embarrassment,” said Rep. Speier, co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “It’s also indefensible that 63 percent of universities shirk their legal responsibilities in response to these horrific crimes. Thanks to the bravery of survivors and students who have refused to remain silent, the hard work of advocates, and my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who have joined me in reintroducing this bill, this issue is finally getting the attention it needs and deserves. No parent or student should have to factor the danger of sexual assault into their college preparation. No institution of higher learning should be allowed to sweep these crimes under the rug or blame and shame survivors. I urge my colleagues in the House to swiftly pass this bill and commensurate action in the Senate. The future of so many of our brightest minds depends on it.”
“Our institutions of higher education must be held accountable for lax policies against sexual violence occurring on their campuses. Young women and men attending college deserve the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive in a safe environment, free from fear,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “The HALT Act ensures that universities take every possible step to eradicate sexual violence on college campuses. With nearly one-in-five young women, and 6-percent of young men likely to experience some type of sexual violence on campus, Congress must act to keep our youth safe.”
“Sexual assault happens far too often on college campuses. As a mother, grandmother and college professor for more than 40 years, this issue is very personal to me. Every student should feel safe and welcome on their campus and has the right to pursue their education without fear,” said Rep. Adams. “With the Administration’s decision to rescind President Obama’s Title IX guidance documents specific to addressing sexual violence, it’s even more important that Congress take steps to strengthen protections for students. I am proud to join Rep. Speier as a co-lead of the bipartisan HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act.”
The introduction of the HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act was timed ahead of the 47th Anniversary of Title IX on June 23rd to further raise awareness of the epidemic of campus sexual violence. Under federal law, students are entitled to an educational environment free of sexual harassment and violence. However, the National Institute of Justice estimates that 63 percent of universities shirk their legal responsibilities when responding to these violent crimes.
In addition to bipartisan Member support, the HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act is supported by End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, the National Women’s Law Center, American Association of University Women, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Girls, Inc., Feminist Majority, and many other advocacy and education groups.
The HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act is cosponsored by: Reps. Jackie Speier (CA-14), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Alma S. Adams (NC-12), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Federica Wilson (FL-24), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At large), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Grace Meng (NY-06), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Dina Titus (NV-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Gilbert R. Cisneros (CA-39), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-22), Adam Smith (WA-09) and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07).
A copy of the bill text is available here.