Include Campus SaVE in VAWA -- Today!

This work is part of the VAWA Blog Carnival hosted by Her Votes and Ms. Magazine.

By Tory Corless, Break the Cycle Policy Intern

As a woman, I have never been so aware of my vulnerability until I came to college. For centuries, universities have been a haven for intellectual growth and self-discovery, marking the transition from adolescence into adulthood.

Unfortunately what’s also becoming synonymous is sexual violence on campus. On any given weekend night, I see several drunk women walking home alone and hoards of guys calling after them with phrases like, “looking good girls,” “I like that skirt” and “let me get to know you a little better.”

In college, a night of fun can easily turn into a night of horror as alcohol and drugs often blur the line of consent and compliance. Situations like this happen all too often and the consequences are real.

As one in five college women report having been sexually assaulted, it is clear that college campuses create contexts for rape and other forms of sexual assault to occur -- so change needs to happen on the campus level.

While there are some prevention and response services on campuses now, the rates of on campus assaults are staggering and show no signs of retreat. College students need key protections on campus more than ever.

The Violence Against Women Act should make me feel safer when I am walking alone at night. VAWA should make me better understand that scope of violence on campus. It should protect us all, especially the most vulnerable populations.

But the truth is, I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe knowing that several members of congress, who have or have had children in college, do not see the benefit of allocating key prevention and intervention services on college campuses.

I want to study and I want to grow in college, but I also want to know I am protected. I sincerely hope that the House of Representatives will rethink their decision regarding the Campus SaVE act and include it in any future versions of this significant bill.