What is a Prevention Program?

Posted by On Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The definition of “prevention program” is one of the most important issues being discussed at the last meeting (March 31-April 1st) of the Rulemaking committee that is drafting regulations to implement the Campus SaVE Act.

The latest draft regulations found on the Department of Education website define “programs that prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking” as:

(1) Comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, and strategies intended to stop domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that–

(i) Are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, informed by research; and
(ii) Consider risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, institutional, community and societal levels.

(2) Programs to prevent include both primary prevention programs directed at incoming students and new employees and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at students and employees . . ..

The American Association of University Women is live blogging the Rulemaking sessions, and reports that the discussion on this proposed definition includes questions about whether:

  • “stop” should include “strategies to prevent”
  • “informed by research” should be qualified by “where possible”
  • “ongoing programs” means “sustained over time”

As the negotiation session continues, schools are scrambling to put programs in place that qualify as a good faith effort to comply with these yet-to-be-defined terms. If current regulatory language (see §668.46(b)(11)(i)) becomes final, a school’s training efforts will need to be described in its Annual Security Report. However, regardless of what the final regulations look like the goal remains the same: schools must implement programs that are designed to eliminate campus sexual violence.

If all members of the negotiating committee agree on the proposed regulatory language, the next step will be to publish the draft regulations in the Federal Register, requesting public comments. If the committee members don’t agree, the ED will either use the draft language or draft their own for public comment. After consideration of the public comments, the ED will finalize the regulations.

We are continuing to follow the rulemaking proceedings and will keep you informed about any significant developments.

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