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Source: Grand Forks Herald, May 19, 1991

Bill toughens handling of campus rape

By Kathryn Sweney, Herald Staff Writer

Congress is considering major legislation dealing with rape and spouse abuse.

The "Violence Against Women Act," sponsored by Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware and 25 co-sponsors was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April. The committee may act on the legislation at its meeting this Thursday.

The bill addresses campus rape in these ways.

Create a $20 million grant program to fund campus rape education and prevention programs and services.

Requires grantee colleges to disclose to rape victims the outcome of college disciplinary proceedings against their attackers.

Requires colleges to report any form of sexual assault not just rape.

Requires grantee colleges to designate sexual assault as a violation of student disciplinary codes.

Some other key provisions of the Biden bill.

Doubles penalties for federal cases of rape and aggravated rape.

Bars embarrassing and irrelevant questions about victims sexual history in civil and criminal cases other than sexual assault cases, where such questions are already prohibited.

Makes it a federal crime for an abuser to follow a spouse across state lines to continue the abuse.

Triples funding for battered women's shelters.