• The Jeanne Clery Act and Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA)

    The Jeanne Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges to report crimes that occur “on campus” and school safety policies. This report is available each year in an Annual Security Report (ASR). The Clery Act also requires institutions to send timely warnings to the school community when there are known risks to public safety on campus.

    There is significant overlap between Title IX requirements, Violence Against Women’s Act and Clery Act in relation to institutional response to incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

    The Clery Act also contains the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to disclose educational programming, campus disciplinary process, and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints.

  • Reporting Responsibilities

    Under both laws, certain individuals have specific responsibilities when dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is reported to them.

    • Under the Clery Act, a group of individuals called campus security authorities (including campus policy/security, individuals with a security function, individuals written into campus security policy as someone to whom members of the community should make crime reports, and officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities) are required to report Clery Act crimes to the designated crime collection body at the institution. Reports from CSAs inform institutional response, such as providing a victim of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking with a written explanation of rights and options, analyzing whether there is a serious or ongoing threat that would warrant a timely warning, and determining whether a Clery Act crime occurred that must be reported in the institution’s statistics.
    • Under Title IX, an institution has actual knowledge of an incident when information is reported to the Title IX coordinator or to officials with the authority to institute corrective measures. Such information results in specific actions by the institution, including outreach from the Title IX coordinator to explain what supportive measures are available and how someone can file a formal complaint with the institution.
    Providing Support to Reporting Parties Victims
    • Under the Clery Act, institutions must provide victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking with information in writing about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working accommodations, as well as other protective measures. These options must be provided if requested and reasonably available, regardless of whether or not the person chooses to report to campus police or local law enforcement. The institution’s policy also must describe the range of protective measures available during the disciplinary process.
    • Under Title IX, when an institution has actual knowledge of an incident, the Title IX coordinator provides the reporting party with information on supportive measures, which are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge. Supportive measures may be provided before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. These services are also provided to the respondent during a disciplinary process.
    Disciplinary/Grievance Procedures

    Both the Clery Act and Title IX guide disciplinary procedures for incidents involving dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While not a complete list, here are some examples of where and how the Clery Act and Title IX intersect in relation to the implementation of disciplinary procedures:

    • The Clery Act requires institutions to explain the types of proceedings, steps involved, and timelines for such procedures within their policies.
    • Title IX provides specific steps that must take place as part of an institution’s disciplinary process or, as Title IX describes it, grievance procedures.
    • Under the Clery Act, institutions must describe what standard of evidence they use for such proceedings, while Title IX specifies that the policies addressing Title IX requirements must state whether the institution uses the preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing standard.
    • Title IX requires institutions to describe the range of sanctions imposed for incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, whereas the Clery Act requires that the policy must list all possible sanctions.
    • Both laws require training for individuals involved in disciplinary proceedings.
    • The Clery Act requires that complainants and respondents each have the same opportunity to have others present at disciplinary proceedings (which includes formal and informal meetings), including an advisor of choice. Similarly, Title IX affords an advisor of choice. Title IX requires the grievance process to provide for a live hearing and makes the advisor of choice responsible for conducting cross-examination during the live hearing.
    • Both the Clery Act and Title IX require simultaneous notification in writing to complainants and respondents of the results of disciplinary proceedings.
    Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) ammendments to the Clery Act

    In March 2013 the Violence Against Women’s Reauthorization Act (VAWA) was signed into law. VAWA includes amendments to the Clery Act which require institutions to comply not only with the reporting responsibilities, the disciplinary/grievance procedures and supportive measures but also requires institutions to to implement and disclose programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, including

    • Primary prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and employees; and
    • Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees.

    Worcester State’s prevention and awareness initiatives can be seen in more detail under the SAVE page.


    Jennifer Quinn M.Ed., CHES, CTTS
    Director of Title IX
    Drug and Alcohol Education Prevention
    Student Center
    Office SC338

    On-Campus Emergencies

    Off-Campus Emergencies
    Worcester Police Department