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Unpacking the Cleary Act - National Campus Safety Awareness Month

In 2008, National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) was unanimously approved by Congress to encourage a public conversation on important topics in violence prevention at our nation’s colleges and universities. This month, let’s dive in and learn more about The Clery Act.

Jeanne Clery was 19 years old when she was raped and murdered in her college dormitory in 1986. At that time, standards for campus crime reporting simply did not exist. Following the tragic loss of their daughter, Jeanne’s parents put into motion transformative change on two important fronts – legislative additions and preventative education.

Beginning in 1988, the Clery’s lobbied for revolutionary policy changes that would eventually take form as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (‘The Clery Act’). Their groundwork resulted in its initial signing into federal law in 1990, with multiple additions and revisions made since. The Clery Act is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. Further, the Clery Act aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics. Its creation allowed educators, families, and legislators to have an open dialogue about campus safety for the first time in our country’s history.

Not only did Jeanne’s parents take action and momentum for the passage of the Clery Act, they also worked with allies and advocates to form The Clery Center, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent the kind of violence that had taken Jeanne from them. Today that organization remains dedicated to guiding institutions of higher education to implement effective campus safety measures.

The Clery Center also develops free programs and resources that promote campus safety. Each year they help to choose a relevant theme for NCSAM, then work to spread awareness, inform institutional policy, and effect change. This year’s theme is Meeting the Challenge of Tomorrow – Today, encouraging campus safety practitioners and higher ed leaders from around the country to explore relevant, actionable, and scalable strategies to meet tomorrow's most pressing campus safety challenges today.

Want to learn more? Educators may participate in the annual NCSAM Summit, where campus safety practitioners and higher education leaders from around the county will explore strategies to meet campus safety challenges. This two-day event, which takes place on September 8 and 9, 2021, is completely free to participants. More information may be found at: https://clerycenter.org/event/ncsam-summit2021/

If you are interested in learning more about ways you can combat violence on your own campus or a campus near you, Someplace Safe also offers training and prevention-based programs geared specifically for colleges. Simply contact your local office for more information, or visit www.someplacesafe.info.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, abuse, or crime on the college campus or beyond, please reach out to Someplace Safe via phone at 800.974.3359 or text at 844.980.0169.

Additional Resources on Campus Safety and more:

Clery Center: https://clerycenter.org

Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool: https://ope.ed.gov/campussafety/#/

RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-vio...

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