The purpose of this audit is to outline existing policy (September 2016) on sexual violence at universities in Europe and to highlight policy elsewhere that may prove useful in furthering the aims and ambitions of the USVreact project. It summarizes key findings from the national policy audits conducted by project partners in Greece, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and discusses provisions made available under Title IX and the Clery Act in the United States. The audit concludes by highlighting some additional considerations to bear in mind when developing new policy.
While the focus throughout is on policy of immediate relevance to addressing sexual violence in Higher Education (HE), it is worth highlighting the existence of wider policy frameworks which already inform and can be used to shape policy specific to the university context. At an international level, relevant policy frameworks include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Within Europe, the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence – known as the Istanbul Convention – is a key framework.