Today, November 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education took another step towards sweeping campus sexual assault and harassment under the rug. The proposed regulations, released this morning and accessible here, would weaken the protections of the 46-year old "Title IX" which exists to ensure every student has access to a safe and equal education.
We know that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college. Yet if these proposed changes from DeVos become law, it would narrow the instances in which schools must respond. The changes would also require schools to utilize processes which drive victims and survivors into silence – the opposite of everything Legal Momentum and our allies have been fighting for. The effect will be the appearance of less sexual assault and harassment on campuses but the reality will be the polar opposite. Victims and survivors will be driven away from their educations rather than receiving the type of fair and equal treatment Title IX intended.
These proposed changes stand in direct contradiction to the experiences voiced by thousands of victims, survivors, and advocates – those who know the impact a school's supportive and informed response can make. Legal Momentum will loudly and strenuously oppose these changes. We will continue to stand with victims and survivors and we will continue our work to ensure that no one has to choose between their physical and emotional security and their education.
About Legal Momentum
Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law. For more information visit www.legalmomentum.org.