January 11, 2017
Open Letter to Senator Claire McCaskill
We were disappointed to read comments from your keynote at Campus Safety Magazine’s National Forum at which you stated that your goal is to “remove..the Clery Act completely,” considering that you have previously made use of Clery statistics in your 2014 “Sexual Violence on Campus” report and are currently sponsoring a bill which would amend the Clery Act.
As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Clery Act, here are some scenarios that are a result of Clery Act requirements:
- A student receives a text message notifying him of an active shooter on the campus and he is able to move to a safe location until the danger has passed;
- A survivor attends a campus program on rape and finally decides to share her story with a friend;
- A student who ended an abusive relationship is no longer in a history lecture with her abuser because a campus professional changed her schedule;
- A survivor decides it’s safe to go to the hospital for a forensic exam because a campus handout let her know that it’s still her decision as to whether she reports to law enforcement and she can take the time she needs to decide what to do next;
- A survivor chooses to report his assault because he knows his personally identifiable information will be kept private;
- A parent and child can access any college or university’s comprehensive information on campus safety and security with the click of a button.
The Clery Act was shepherded into existence by Connie and Howard Clery – two parents who lost their only daughter, Jeanne, when she was raped and murdered in her residence hall in 1986. They turned incomprehensible grief into incredible change in the effort to ensure no other family would experience such loss. It is more than just paper work. It is meaningful policies that drive powerful action. This is the heart of the Clery Act.
We are lucky enough to work with institutions across the country who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work on the important elements of Clery that keep college students — our nation’s future leaders — safe. It is the most important work that we can do.