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Kaine Introduces Bill to Support Student Survivors of Sexual Assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Support for Universities and Colleges to Champion the Educational Success of Survivors (SUCCESS) Act, legislation to support student survivors of sexual assault and other violence. The bill would help improve academic outcomes for student survivors and help ensure universities and colleges have the resources to support them.

“Colleges and universities have an obligation to do everything they can to prevent sexual assault on their campuses and provide resources to support student survivors,” said Kaine. “This bill is critical to helping ensure survivors of sexual assault can access the support they need to pursue their academic and career goals.”

Approximately 13% of all graduate and undergraduate students report experiencing sexual assault or violence. Many student survivors are impacted physically, psychologically, emotionally, and academically. Research has found that survivors of sexual assault are more likely to have lower grade point averages and ultimately drop out of school. The SUCCESS Act aims to improve student survivors’ academic outcomes and help them complete their degrees.

Specifically, the SUCCESS Act would provide funding for universities and colleges to:

  • Increase mental health services for student survivors of sexual assault and other violence.
  • Provide higher education re-entry assistance for student survivors of sexual assault and other forms of violence.
  • Increase training for faculty and administrators on helping students access patient-centered care and recognizing the signs of trauma.
  • Provide patient-centered professional development training for academic advisors and counselors on how to support student survivors’ academic goals.
  • Provide academic accommodations for students experiencing trauma, such as training for tutors or the establishment of a confidential tutoring program designed specifically to assist student survivors of sexual assault and other violence.
  • Create or enhance a fund for survivors of sexual assault and other violence to use for wrap-around services like housing, health care, and mental health treatment.

The SUCCESS Act is endorsed by American Psychological Association (APA); End Rape on Campus; Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN); and Survivor Fund Hub.

Full text of the bill is available here.