Quantcast

Officials Make Suggestions for Combating Sexual Violence on Campuses

Posted: Updated: Jan 08, 2015 07:25 PM
Governor's Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence on College Campuses Governor's Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence on College Campuses
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - Ideas for making all college campuses in Virginia are coming into focus. The Governor's Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence on College Campuses met in Richmond for its second full meeting Thursday.

The task force is getting closer to making proposals to revamp the system. At Thursday's meeting, sub-groups suggested more firm proposals to prevent these crimes and enforce justice.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says despite apparent discrepancies in a Rolling Stone magazine article that brought national attention to rape cases allegedly swept under the rug at the University of Virginia, the article got people talking.

"I think any time there's that kind of engagement and awareness and a commitment to improve safety, that's a good thing," he stated.

Herring says that attention can help encourage a better system within higher education. For months now, the task force has already been addressing this. They feel several cases near UVA - the murder of Yeardley Love in 2010 and the abduction and murder of Hannah Graham last September - highlight the need for change.

"I know so many of us participated in one way or another in the search for Hannah Graham. We all held her and her family in our thoughts and prayers and we all were heartbroken by the outcome,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton.

At Thursday's meeting in Richmond, the prevention group talked about surveying each of Virginia's schools and isolating the groups most vulnerable for incidents of sexual violence.

But for the incidents that cannot be prevented the task force believe resources need to be available to survivors, as well as a clear way to prosecute offenders. 

"We were here before this fall, we will be here long after this fall focusing on these very, very important issues and how we make sure all our campuses are safe,” Holton stated.

Another workgroup focused on closing lapses in resources available to survivors and said we need to keep in mind that some strategies will work better for four-year institutions verses two-year institutions.

There's also the idea of going into classrooms early and talking to young students about safe, healthy relationships.

The next full meeting for the task force will take place in late March. By that point, the subgroups plan on presenting their first drafts. The final proposals are all supposed to reach the governor's desk by June 1.