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Department of Justice Officials Announce Campus Tour to Raise Awareness about Violence Against Women

On Monday, March 8, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli will kick off a nationwide college campus tour by top department officials to raise awareness of violence against women. The tour is part of the Justice Department’s year-long commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). At 12 universities around the nation, Justice Department officials will speak with students about ways to prevent violence against women on college campuses, and the role that federal, state and local government, working with university staff, faculty and students, should play. Why are we visiting college campuses? According to a study done by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions is as high as 20 to 25 percent. The chance that a rape will occur on campus is greatly exacerbated late at night. On campus, more than half (51.8 percent) of completed rapes took place after midnight, 36.5 percent occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight, and only 11.8 percent took place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The majority of sexual victimizations, especially rapes and physically coerced sexual contact, occurred in living quarters. Almost 60 percent of the completed rapes that occurred on campus took place in the victim’s residence, 31 percent occurred in other living quarters on campus, and 10.3 percent took place in a fraternity. These are stunning and frightening statistics. On campuses, consistency in policies that deal with violence against women is also crucial. A 2005 NIJ study found that schools across the country are complying with federal laws unevenly.  Anonymous reporting, which encourages victims to come forward, is an option at just half of America’s colleges and universities. Schools also provide basic resources unevenly.  Fewer than half the schools studied inform students how to file criminal charges. This has to change now. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is working with schools across the country to provide the resources necessary to tackle this problem. Since 1999, OVW has distributed approximately $87 million to 300 institutions of higher education. OVW Campus grantees include public and private institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), territorial institutions, Hispanic Serving institutions, community colleges, faith-based and tribal institutions and technical colleges. The Justice Department announced in early February that President Obama’s FY2011 budget request provides $461 million for OVW to provide communities with resources to combat sexual assault and violence against women - including women on college campuses. Fifteen years after VAWA passed, there is still much work to be done to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, particularly on campuses nationwide. However, the most progress is made when federal, state, local, tribal and campus authorities work together to curtail violence against women. The campus tour schedule is below; if you’re near one of these campuses, come join us to discuss how best to end violence against women on campus. March 8, 2010 Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli at Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) March 9, 2010 Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli at Brown University (Providence, R.I.) March 10, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Tony West at Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) March 11, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Tony West at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Wash.) March 12, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia S. Moreno at University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago) March 15, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer at University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) March 23, 2010 Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women Catherine Pierce at East Central University (Ada, Okla.) March 23, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Tony West at Norfolk State University (Norfolk, Va.) March 29, 2010 Director of the Community Oriented Police Services Program Bernard K. Melekian at University of Southern California (Los Angeles) March 29, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich at University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.) March 31, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie O. Robinson at University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) March 31, 2010 Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia S. Moreno at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Updated April 7, 2017