Casten Amendment Passes House, Included in Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

April 4, 2019
Press Release
Congressman’s amendment will help sexual assault victims on college campuses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) introduced an amendment last night, which was unanimously adopted in H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, that would ensure campus faculty are trained to recognize victims of sexual or domestic violence. This legislation amends the bill to include “appropriate campus faculty, such as academic advisors or professionals who deal with students on a daily basis,’’ for grant training programs to recognize and respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 passed the House today.

To watch Casten’s Floor speech on his amendment click the image above or click here.

Casten said, in part, “My amendment would include training health providers on how to provide universal education to all members of the campus community on the impacts of violence on health and unhealthy relationships and how providers can support ongoing outreach efforts.

Going off to school can be a wonderful opportunity for our children. But sexual and domestic violence on college campuses is horrific and must be addressed. We know that, of undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault.

But all too often, these students do not report to law enforcement. Only 20% of female student victims report their experience. Some don’t report because they fear reprisal, others didn’t believe that it was important enough, and some even believe that police would not or could not do anything to help.

We cannot eradicate sexual violence on campus if we cannot reach the students being impacted. We are failing them.

That is why this amendment to include campus faculty in training programs to help them identify signs of sexual and domestic violence is so necessary.  If students feel they cannot report these crimes, we must have knowledgeable and trained faculty in place to provide help if it is needed.”

Advocating for women’s rights and protecting women from domestic abuse is one of Representative Casten’s top priorities. In January, Casten invited Judie Caribeaux, Executive Director of Family Shelter Service in DuPage County, as his guest to the annual State of the Union address. In February, Casten and Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) held an informative panel at Benedictine University in Lisle with students and staff to discuss the importance of the Violence Against Women Act and the resources and grants available to colleges and universities to provide professional training for staff and support services for students who are victims of sexual assault.