Women and Family Issues
The League of Women Voters is seeking members who are interested in joining a statewide Women and Family Issues Committee. If interested, please contact the state office at email@example.com.
Current Study: Sexual Assault on College Campuses
At the May 2015 LWVNJ Convention, delegates adopted a study of Campus Sexual Assault due to the sense of epidemic proportions and visibility of the problem on the nation's and New Jersey's campuses. The League adopted this study because we note with alarm the increase, or at least the increase in reporting, of campus sexual assault and want to determine how best to respond to alleged sexual assault on students in college communities.
Campuses are meant to be safe environments for our young people to develop into our future leaders and instead they have become a place where they are preyed upon by least-expected predators, often their own acquaintances. There are often significant consequences for survivors of rape or sexual assault such as: physical injury, pregnancy, STD's, and HIV. There is also emotional damage: depression, suicide, social withdrawal, desire to avoid their perpetrator, eating disorders, self-harm, substance abuse, PTSD, and personality disorder. Academic interference can be seen: achievement levels drop; classes are missed; a normal class load can't be maintained; classes are dropped; some may drop out or transfer.
Higher education institutions also deal with negative consequences from campus sexual assault. Their educational missions are harmed from the undermining of their safe and hospitable learning environments. Doubt is cast on the commitment of campus leaders to end campus violence as scandal is brought to the institution and its leaders. Distrust may develop toward campus administrations among parents and alumni; eroding fund raising as well as legislative and philanthropic support. Institutions found in violation of preventive measures may be fined.
Controversy arises as policymakers in communities, on campuses and within government debate the most effective procedures and legislation to combat forms of interpersonal sexual violation. This study will attempt to provide relevant information regarding the topic of campus sexual assault and through education empower members to form knowledgeable conclusions for use in consensus. This report (currently in progress) will cover the scope of the problem, definitions and laws surrounding the subject.
The current public policy positions of the LWVUS and LWVNJ are not sufficient to allow the League to act comprehensively on the issue of campus sexual assault. Adoption of a consensus position on this issue will allow the League to advocate on this subject.
The formal scope of the study adopted at Convention was as follows:
The study will consider the following issues/questions: