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Schools consider regional effort to handle sexual assault

August 26, 2015 | Virginia News

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Amid the mounting cost and complexity of new federal mandates to address sexual violence, Virginia’s colleges and universities are considering whether to establish a network of shared resources and investigators to address campus assaults.

The idea was among issues discussed Monday during a meeting of presidents of public institutions at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan said a regional collaboration would help schools with fewer resources meet requirements of federal Title IX investigations of sex-based discrimination and provide a higher level of expertise for the adjudication of cases.

The approach also could make victims of assault more willing to come forward if they could discuss what happened to them with investigators who “are not people they see every day,” Sullivan said.

In an interview Tuesday, Sullivan credited former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for suggesting the strategy to allow schools to share costs to comply with Title IX. ...

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