In ongoing efforts to strengthen Michigan's leadership role in combating campus sexual assault, Gov. Rick Snyder and First Lady Sue Snyder today announced that a workgroup of experts will help provide a framework of best practices for preventing assault and a model to pilot regional centers to investigate reports of sexual misconduct.
"To help keep our college students safe and ensure reports of sexual assault are being handled swiftly and appropriately on all campuses, we are going to pilot independent, regional centers to review and investigate reports of assault," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "We have a tremendous network of experts in Michigan, and I look forward to using their expertise to help us create a new approach that ensures reports of sexual assault are handled the right way."
The Governor and First Lady have asked the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board to oversee the multi-disciplinary workgroup. Members will include experts from the First Lady's Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup and new appointees representing institutions of higher education and law enforcement as well as the federal and state government. All workgroup members will be announced in the coming weeks.
"We need to do everything we can to make sure survivors are heard and swift action is taken after reports of sexual assault on campus," First Lady Sue Snyder said. "Having a new, uniform approach to investigating campus sexual assault is an important step toward ensuring justice for all survivors. I'm also eager to see how we can better prevent sexual assault from happening in the first place, and I look forward to the new, innovative best practices this workgroup will help create."
The workgroup will be asked to review and provide a framework of best practices for the following:
A model to pilot a network of regional investigation centers to review and resolve reports of sexual misconduct on campuses. The workgroup would be asked to consult with experts who have developed similar models for consideration by other states; and
Develop a framework of prevention best practices colleges and universities can implement on campus.
The workgroup would be asked to provide recommendations to the Governor and First Lady by Aug. 3, 2018.
Last year, the First Lady asked the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board to create a campus sexual assault workgroup to develop resource materials for sexual assault survivors. The workgroup unveiled and distributed 500 handbooks to attendees at the third annual Inform. Empower. Prevent. summit on Sept. 25 and launched the website www.michigan.gov/CampusSexualAssault.
The First Lady recently announced plans to host the fourth annual Inform. Empower. Prevent. summit on Monday, Sept. 24, at Western Michigan University. Additional summit details, registration options, speakers and a full summit agenda will be updated in the coming weeks and can be found at www.endcampussexualassault.com.