Secretary DeVos Moves to Silence Survivors and Enable Schools to Be a Safe Place to Commit Sexual Violence

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Secretary DeVos Moves to Silence Survivors and Enable Schools to Be a Safe Place to Commit Sexual Violence

New Proposed Title IX Rule Will Severely Diminish Reporting and Deny Survivors’ Their Legal Right to Equal Access to Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have moved to chill reporting and enable schools to be a safe place to commit sexual violence, letting schools off the hook for enforcing their Title IX obligations. Today, they announced a sweeping new and unlawful proposed Title IX rule that greatly shifts the burden to the student filing a complaint and fails to protect survivors’ civil rights to access their education.

Statement from Jess Davidson, Interim Executive Director, End Rape on Campus:

“Secretary DeVos’ long-awaited rewrite of Title IX enforcement regulation is worse than we thought. It will return schools to a time where rape, assault, and harassment were swept under the rug. These new rules betray the same attitude about assault that we saw from Senate Republicans the last few weeks – disparage and diminish survivors and discourage them from reporting.

“DeVos is making plain with these unlawful rules that she is turning her back on survivors. The results of this rule are clear: Fewer will report their assaults and harassment. Schools will be more dangerous. And, more survivors will be denied their legal right to equal access to education after experiencing sexual violence.

“Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are sending a clear message to survivors across the country with these disgraceful new rules: our dignity, humanity, and civil rights don’t matter to them.

“We call on survivors, advocates, and allies to make their voices heard during the notice-and-comment period, and let the Department of Education know just how disastrous these rules will be for survivors who are just trying to access their education. This rule can be stopped, but only if we speak up.”

Survivors, advocates, and allies have the chance to stop Secretary DeVos from putting these disastrous rules into effect by submitting a comment during the notice-and-comment period. Resources are available here.

BACKGROUND ON SEXUAL ASSAULT IN SCHOOLS: 

FACT: 3 million college students will be sexually assaulted this year.

FACT: Less than 10 percent of college assault survivors report their assaults.

FACT: Individuals are more likely to be struck by lightning than falsely accused of sexual assault.

FACT: 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted in college. 

FACT: More than a third of students who have experienced sexual assault dropout of college.

FACT: Nearly one in four transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, or questioning students experience sexual violence during their four years of undergraduate school.

FACT: Just over 15 percent of transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, or questioning students report an incident of sexual violence during their graduate studies.

FACT: Approximately 40-60 percent of black women report coercive sexual contact by the age 18.

FACT: 4 in 10 Black women have been subjected to intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

FACT: One in three native women are sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

FACT: Half of transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.

FACT: Nearly 8 in 10 transgender or gender non-conforming individuals are sexually harassed during grades K-12. American Indian, Asian, Black and multiracial transgender or gender non-conforming individuals experience higher rates of sexual violence than K-12 students of other races.

FACT: More than a third of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals are physically assaulted during grades K-12.

FACT: More than half of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals who were harassed, physically assaulted, or sexually assaulted because of the gender expression in K-12 have attempted suicide.

FACT: Students with disabilities experience assault at two times the rate of non-disabled students.