Act 16 of 2019
On June 28, 2019, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 16 of 2019 (Act 16) which added Article XX-J to the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949. Building on the It's On Us PA initiative, this law includes statutory requirements for addressing sexual assault at postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania that award an associate degree or higher. Institutions have until June 30, 2020 to comply.
Sexual Violence Policy
Article XX-J requires postsecondary institutions to adopt a clear, understandable written policy on sexual harassment and sexual violence that informs victims of their rights under federal and state law, including the crime victims bill of rights.
Adopted policies must contain a provision that a witness or victim of an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence who reports the incident in good faith will not be sanctioned by the institution for admitting in the report to a violation of the institution's student conduct policy on the personal use of drugs or alcohol.
View the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Model Campus Policy for Sexual Violence Prevention (Word)
Anonymous Online Reporting System
Article XX-J also requires each postsecondary institution to establish and maintain an online reporting system to receive complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence from students and employees. The system must permit anonymous reporting.
All submitted reports, including anonymous complaints, must be investigated through a process established in the institution's sexual harassment and sexual violence policy. The online reporting system must adhere to all requirements established under Section 2003-J of Article XX-J.