The new rules are part of the administration’s vocal interest in protecting men accused of sexual assault and removing protections from survivors
The proposed rules would weaken Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. The changes give more rights to people accused of committing sexual assault and harassment at schools. The rules continue President Trump and the administration’s pattern of casting doubt upon survivors of sexual assault. Earlier this year, Trump decried sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.”
The rules: 1) Narrow the definition of sexual harassment; 2) Reduce a school’s responsibility to investigate sexual assault claims, including off-campus events; 3) Let accused students bring lawyers to cross-examine survivors in hearings; 4) Allow schools to choose their own “standard of evidence.” These changes would make it more difficult for survivors to present their case and could deter them from reporting.The Cut
The changes don’t affect just colleges. Title IX protects against gender-based discrimination — including harassment and bullying of LGBTQ students — at all K-12 schools that receive federal funds.The Atlantic
Rape is the most underreported crime, with 77% percent of sexual assaults going unreported.
Survivors of sexual harassment and assault need more — not less — protections.
Shame, self-doubt, fear of retaliation, and distrust in the justice system already contribute to the fact that less than 10% of sexual assault victims on college campuses report the assault. Among reported cases, only a fraction lead to arrests, let alone trials. These fears can keep victims silent for years.
I was afraid that I would walk in my front door, and they would all be sitting there… After a week of not seeing him... I thought: You're safe now.”
She used Title IX protections through her school to keep her abusive ex and his friends away from her apartment
The rollback of Title IX sexual assault protections particularly threatens transgender students, Black women, and women who are lesbian, bisexual, or gay. These groups disproportionately experience sexual assault on college campuses than white, cisgender, heterosexual women.Human Rights Campaign
DeVos first announced her plans to roll back Title IX protections in 2017 — following her high-profile meetings with men’s rights activists and men who said they’d been falsely accused of rape. These same groups rallied behind Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination after he was accused of sexual assault.Rewire
President Trump has frequently criticized and cast doubt upon survivors who publicly share their stories. He said that women who share stories of sexual assault often want “fame” or “money” and aren’t telling the truth. Similar concerns are echoed by others close to Trump, including first lady Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.Vanity Fair