ESPN teamed up with Marvel Comics to create comic book versions to honor 25 athletes and influencers, including Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), who have made the greatest impact for women in sports. In the comic, McCaskill, alongside her colleague Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), are called “Senators of Steel”. McCaskill and Gillibrand are praised by ESPNw’s “Impact 25” series for their work to curb sexual assaults on college campuses.
Senators Gillibrand and McCaskill co-sponsored the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which would strengthen sexual assault policies by universities. The bill would require schools to have a uniform process for dealing with assaults and to survey their students regularly, making their findings public.
“Right now, some colleges and universities are more inclined to expel a student for cheating on an exam than for committing sexual assault,” said Gillibrand.
According to the 2014 McCaskill Report, when a case involves an athlete, more than 20% of schools allow their athletic departments to investigate and resolve the incident from within.
According to the National Institute of Justice, one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted. But McCaskill said many occurrences – if they are even reported to authorities – are often kept behind closed doors, even as federal law requires that colleges and universities be forthcoming about all types of violent crime on their campuses.