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Newly released campus sexual violence data raise red flags

2015 November 23

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91 percent of U.S. college campuses report zero incidents of rape, domestic and
dating violence, and stalking

WASHINGTON — An American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education shows that 91 percent of college campuses reported zero incidents of rape in 2014.

“The data reported by the nation’s colleges simply defy reality and commonsense,” said Lisa M. Maatz, vice president of government relations at AAUW. “These numbers don’t reflect campus climate surveys and academic research, let alone what we’re hearing from students themselves.”

Under the Clery Act, American colleges and universities are required to disclose reported crimes on their campuses, including incidents of sexual assault. These annual safety reports are also required to include information about schools’ training and prevention efforts to improve campus safety. “The abundance of zeros in the 2014 reports raises real concerns about how colleges are handling sexual assault incidents on campus,” said Maatz.

For the first time this year, because of new reporting requirements passed in the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), campuses are now providing data on dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in addition to rape statistics. And yet, in each of these new categories only 9–11 percent of campuses disclosed at least one reported incident in 2014.

“What these zeros really tell us is that students don’t feel comfortable coming forward with formal reports at these schools,” said Maatz. “Why? Perhaps the school doesn’t have good services or processes in place or is not perceived as being supportive when students do come forward. Believe me, word gets around the campus community. Needless to say, this is not the reputation colleges want if they’re going to effectively address campus sexual assault.”

AAUW’s analysis of the 2014 data provides a further breakdown of the numbers, along with background on what the data say about schools that reported zero incidents of rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The analysis also provides information about the new VAWA requirements and how to easily access the data, school by school.

AAUW’s analysis shows that campuses that disclosed a report of one type of incident were more likely to disclose reports of other types of incidents, indicating that some schools are clearly working to do the right thing when it comes to disclosing campus incidents and addressing sexual violence.

“Where schools have built systems to welcome reports, support survivors, and disclose statistics correctly, the numbers show that they’re on the right track,” said Maatz. “These reports are incredibly useful in designing and implementing adequate responses and building programs to address gender-based violence. Schools that aren’t using this tool are shortchanging their entire campus communities.”

Study after study shows that sexual harassment and violence are far too prevalent in institutions of higher education. Many people are familiar with the statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted during college; less well known is that more than one in five college women experiences physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. “Schools should have a strong commitment to getting these numbers right,” said Maatz. “It’s not only the law — their students’ well-being and access to education are on the line.”

The full 2014 data set is available online from the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, every school’s annual security report should contain this information.

Find out about new statewide philanthropy project & focus on economic status of women in latest issue of Orbit

2015 November 22
by admin
Before the holiday rush begins in earnest, please brew a cup of tea and take a moment to read the AAUW of Ohio Orbit Fall Orbit Fall 15issue. In it, you’ll find:
  • Details about our new statewide philanthropy project, the AAUW Ohio Philanthropy Honorary Memorial Fund
  • News from President Christine Siebeneck about our statewide focus on the economic status of women — and tips on what you and your branch can do to help — from stocking a food pantry to advocating for paid sick leave
  • What your branch needs to know about bylaws and policy documents
  • Shout-outs to branches around the state
  • The latest on the issues and actions happening in Columbus — from women’s health care to human trafficking
  • Convention 2016 updates that will rock your world
  • Online resources from National AAUW that will help you plan programs, advocate for issues and more.

Download past issues of AAUW of Ohio Orbit.

AAUW of Ohio in D.C.

2015 November 18
by admin

Read more and take action.

Take action: Tell Congress not to betray ESEA for all students

2015 November 18
by admin

AAUW of Ohio President Christine Siebeneck is in Washington, D.C. today to lobby for the ESEA. She will meet with Representatives Joyce Beatty and Bob Latta and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.  She sent us this dispatch early this morning:lobbycorpsLogo_75w

Take Action: Call your member of Congress today and tell them to support the inclusion of key civil rights principles when they consider the education bill (ESEA) this month.

Brief Background

In July, the Senate passed a bill to reauthorize the nation’s most important education law for our country’s children – the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While the Senate bill contained some important civil rights priorities, it failed to meaningfully protect critical areas of importance, particularly for the most vulnerable students. In addition, the bill passed by the House of Representatives to reauthorize the ESEA would severely undermine civil rights protections for underserved students.

This month, members of Congress will come together in conference to negotiate the final education bill to reauthorize the ESEA and pass a final bill that can then be sent to the president for his signature. As Congress heads into the conference process, where a joint House and Senate bill will be developed, it is important that the conference committee address the four main concerns we have with the Senate version of the bill.

This week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other civil rights organizations are ramping up their activity around the ESEA. Education advocates and state leaders from across the country are coming to Washington, D.C. to meet with and urge members of Congress to pass an education bill that includes key civil rights principles to protect all students.

The final education bill must reflect these four civil rights priorities in order to ensure equal opportunity in education for all children:

  • Strengthening accountability for student outcomes;
    •    Providing additional data on student groups;
    •    Addressing disparities in resources; and
    •    Preserving a meaningful federal role in education.

Let your members of Congress know that you support these principles and urge them to ensure that the final education bill reauthorizing the ESEA includes these four crucial civil rights priorities so that every student can receive a high-quality education.

What to do about our education policy problems

2015 November 15

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the website of the Northeast Ohio Branch

Jan Resseger, prominent education blogger who served for 15 years as Lay Minister for Public Education with the national United Church of Christ, shared eye-opening information about the increasing impact of charter schools on public school funding at the Northeast Ohio Branch Nov. 5 program and dinner at Little Mountain Brewing.

The strategy of privatizers has been to chip away so slowly that citizens have barely noticed.  Most are not aware that significant locally generated tax millage is now being diverted to charter schools.

Along with the major cuts the state has made in funding public education, most local school districts are experiencing severe budget challenges.

For those unable to attend this program, we are attaching Jan’s remarks as well as a one-pager she provided titled “What To Do About our Education Policy Problems in the United States.”  If you are concerned about the erosion of public education in our country, please click on the links, read these pieces and then choose your action strategy.


Vote YES on Issue 1

2015 October 25
by admin

Ohio is on the verge of making history. For too long, political parties have been able to draw state votebannerlegislative districts that put partisan politics above fair representation. The Ohio legislature has now sent to the voters a proposal to create a new redistricting commission that requires bipartisan support, forbids drawing districts to benefit incumbents or political parties, and creates greater transparency to help Ohioans make their voices heard. To make this historic reform a reality, Ohio voters must pass this important change to the Ohio Constitution on November 3.

Show your support for fair redistricting that puts Ohio voters first. Vote YES on Issue 1.

Approval of Issue 1 will allow for the creation of a seven-person bipartisan commission with at least two members of the minority party.  Issue 1 will also create an open process with more public input before a new plan is adopted.

Ohio deserves fair elections, fair districts, and fair representation. 

BGSU selected as new Elect Her campus site

2015 October 10

AAUW and Running Start have selected Bowling Green State University as a new campus site forElectHer-Horizontal the Elect Her workshop in 2016.

The new 2016 campus sites will be:

  • Bowling Green University
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • College of Charleston
  • Davidson College
  • Iowa State University
  • Mississippi University for Women
  • Princeton University
  • Rockford University
  • Saddleback College
  • San Jose State University
  • Sierra College
  • University of New Mexico
  • Wheaton College

As a new 2016 site, joins the 2015 sites, which can be found here. They include three institutions in Ohio: Denison, University of Cincinnati and Wright State.

Cleveland Branch held membership event

2015 October 1
by admin

Cleveland Branch had a membership drive at the Clague Road Playhouse in Westlake on Sept. 20.  The afternoon featured the Ghost Train and refreshments during intermission. Here are some photos from the event.

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State president to speak at Toledo Branch kick-off

2015 September 21


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Latest issue of Ohio Orbit is out!

2015 September 14
by Paula Maggio

As summer comes to a close, take a break from what you are doing and read the AAUW of Ohio Orbit Summer 2015 issue. In it you’ll find:Orbit Summer 2015

  • A message from President Christine Siebeneck: Challenge Social Constructs: Focus on Achievements, not Appearance, Pg. 2
  • A public policy update from Karen Rainey: Prepping for Elections, Pg. 3
  • Photos and a link to resources from Leadership Workshop 2015: Do Your Job Better!, Pg. 4
  • From honors to book sales, our branches are making news, Pg. 5
  • State resources you can use, Pg. 6
  • Membership counts: How does your branch compare?, Pg. 7
  • New AAUW resources, Pg. 7

You can also download past issues of Ohio Orbit.