Governor McAuliffe Statement on Campus Sexual Violence
I was deeply disturbed to read about the sexual assault allegations outlined in Rolling Stone magazine. Sexual violence is a nationwide problem, and it is critical that our schools acknowledge that this is a pervasive issue and take bold action to end it.
Earlier today, I spoke to the university leadership and conveyed my deep concerns with what has been reported. We are in agreement that a full and fair investigation must be pursued, and I have called for a zero tolerance strategy to combat campus sexual assault. I have asked university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures and if decided, to bring in outside experts to assist in this effort.
We must also find ways that our local law enforcement and prosecution efforts can better align with university actions. Earlier this year, I signed Executive Order 25 establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, sending a message that Virginia will not tolerate sexual violence on our campuses or in our communities. Now is the time to act — we must ensure that survivors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and we must do more to hold perpetrators accountable.
As the parents of five children, this is an issue Dorothy and I care deeply about. I look forward to seeing strong recommendations from the task force that will help keep more Virginians safe and ensure that our students are free from the threat of sexual violence.