By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A measure introduced by US senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is intended to combat the problem of sexual violence on college campuses.
Casey stopped on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania today to talk about his provision in the reauthorization bill for the Violence Against Women Act, approved yesterday by the Senate and how headed to the House.
Casey met with anti-sexual-abuse and anti-domestic-violence advocates at Penn. He says it’s a sad fact that college students experience rates of violence higher than other age groups. And he says his legislation, dubbed “Campus Save” (Campus Sexual Violence Elimination), is another step toward reducing crimes of sexual violence.
“We have an obligation — men especially have an obligation — to do all that we can to teach the next generation, and even the generation coming of age now, that this is not acceptable, at all or ever,” the senator said today.
One of the participants at today’s meeting was Women’s Law Project executive director Carol Tracy, who was part of a game-changing, five-day sit-in at College Hall on the Penn campus when she was a student in 1973. It happened after two student nurses were gang raped.
In that era, unlike now, she says, Penn officials weren’t very responsive at first:
“We had a very productive, constructive sit-in. I mean, we weren’t asking Penn to end the war in Vietnam.”
Out of it grew new safety provisions for women on campus, including the creation of the Penn Women’s Center on Locust Walk, where Casey held his briefing today.