RD329 - Survey of Victim-Witness Programs on the Impact of HB1930/SB712 - October 1, 2016

Executive Summary:
In 2015, the General Assembly passed legislation (HB 1930 / SB 712) that required each public and private non-profit institution of higher education (IHE) in Virginia to:

“establish a written memorandum of understanding with a sexual assault crisis center or other victim support service in order to provide sexual assault victims with immediate access to a confidential, independent advocate who can provide a trauma-informed response that includes an explanation of options for moving forward.”

Additionally, each IHE was required to “adopt policies to provide to sexual assault victims information on contacting such sexual assault crisis center or other victim support service.”

As part of the legislation, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) must:

“monitor the impact of the provisions of this act on the workload of local victim witness (VW) programs and report its findings to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice by October 1, 2016.”

In order to prepare this report, we contacted 108 local Victim-Witness programs via email and asked them to complete a brief survey about the services their program provided to victims of campus sexual assault during the past two fiscal years (fiscal years 2015 and 2016).