April 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) issued the following statement upon the release of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault’s report on ending campus sexual violence:

“The quick actions taken by the White House to combat campus sexual assault are impressive. It is up to Congress now to make the Task Force recommendations mandatory so survivors know we have done all we can to prevent this national epidemic. It is intolerable that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college,” Congresswoman Speier said. “The Department of Education and the Department of Justice must also be given the additional resources necessary to give Title IX teeth. This problem exists because academic institutions police themselves and have historically swept sexual assault cases under the rug.” 

In January Congresswoman Speier led a bipartisan letter signed by 39 members that called for more transparency about investigations and enforcement actions against institutions found deficient in their protections against sexual violence, and asked for the Department of Education to develop policy guidance to support colleges to create prevention and response efforts that include same-sex sexual violence. Many of the Task Force’s actions and recommendations, including the creation of the consolidated website NotAlone.gov, are based upon the Members’ policy recommendations.

Congresswoman Speier plans to introduce the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Assault Act next month to provide more vigorous enforcement of campus sexual assault. The legislation would require annual climate surveys, require public disclosure of all resolutions agreements between higher education institutions and the Department of Education and compliance reviews, increase funding for Title IX investigators, expand institution’s requirements for notifying and publicly posting students’ legal rights and institutions’ obligations under Title IX, and create an interagency task force to increase coordination. She is also leading a bipartisan effort for U.S. News and World Report to expand the methodology of its annual assessment of colleges and universities to include campus safety, including responses to sexual violence.

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Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.