Just a week after taking the Oscars stage with Lady Gaga and Vice President Biden, EROC had one of its most impactful weeks yet: we filed four federal Title IX complaints against universities across the country, testified before two state legislatures, served on 5 conference panels, and celebrated the passing of two pieces of legislation we helped draft -- and most of this happened in just one day.
We are excited for the future, and hope you will join us as we move forward.
On Tuesday, March 8th, EROC announced that four survivors filed Title IX and Clery complaints against four universities: American University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Indiana University Bloomington, and Monmouth University. The pattern of administrative indifference towards these four young women, despite the vastly different universities, is shocking and merits immediate action. We are hopeful that the four universities will work to secure safe and supportive environments for students and student survivors.
You can read about these cases in the media coverage highlighted below:
On that same Tuesday, EROC Executive Director, Annie E. Clark, and Managing Director, Anna Voremberg, testified at the Texas State Legislature on best practices for addressing campus sexual assault. Annie, later that night, was met with a standing ovation at a screening of The Hunting Ground at SXSWedu. Annie and Anna met with several survivors and their families in Austin — all with stories that remind us we have a very long way to go.
1,567 miles away, in Annapolis, MD, EROC Director of Policy & Support, Andrea Pino, and Director of Media & Strategic Communications, Colleen Daly, testified alongside Delegate Matrice Morales at the Maryland State House of Delegates Judiciary Committee concerning HB1142, a bill that would establish affirmative consent as the standard across the University of Maryland school system. An affirmative “yes-means-yes” standard is essential to reinforce a culture of consent in Maryland colleges.
Today, two days after testifying in two states, EROC representatives stood alongside Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn to announce the passing of two critical pieces of legislation written, in part, by EROC. HB 1102 requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services, to develop multidisciplinary curricula on trauma-informed sexual assault investigation. This legislation is essential for the treatment of survivors and the success of assault investigations — as stated by Chief Tom Tremblay, National advisor and Trainer on sexual assault response and investigations:
“More than 30 years of police work and my time as a national advisor and trainer on sexual assault have taught me The first interaction between a law enforcement officer and victim of sexual assault victim will make or break our opportunities for success and justice in these cases. Our first interactions with victims also have a profound impact on the victim's ability to recover from the trauma of sexual assault.”
HB 659 requires that family life education curriculum include age-appropriate elements concerning the prevention of dating violence, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and sexual violence. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner — if college is the first time these students learn this material — it’s already too late.
We celebrate these accomplishments understanding that there is a long road ahead. We cannot move forward without you. We are proud of our successes, because no matter our resources, we will work towards change. You’ve seen what we can accomplish on a limited budget: imagine the possibilities, we certainly do. EROC is currently entered in the NoMore Challenge, a fundraising initiative that, if we win, would award us up to an additional $50,000.
Please celebrate this week with us and consider chipping in $10 to support our mission. Stand with EROC, stand with survivors.