Today, Secretary DeVos chose to protect rapists and tip the scales in favor of sexual assault perpetrators. As evidenced by this latest announcement, the leadership of this Education Department has consistently demonstrated failure to ensure access to education for all. This latest attack is especially egregious, because it is veiled in false intentions to uphold the interests and needs of survivors. The tactics that DeVos is using are the same ones that rape apologists have used to silence survivors of sexual violence for decades.
Annie E. Clark, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus, said, “Make no mistake: this is an attack on survivors of sexual violence and the right to an education free from violence. This announcement simultaneously demonstrates a gross negligence for the students Secretary DeVos has been asked to serve, and a failure to understand the grounds on which their protections stand. We will not accept this blatant favoritism for the rights of rapists under the guise of fairness.”
Betsy DeVos’ assault on survivors does not change the law of the land. Title IX is still law, and universities must protect students and fulfilling their obligations under Title IX, even as the federal government refuses enforce the law.
We will not allow Betsy DeVos to turn back the clock to a time when rape was blatantly swept under the rug. Now is the time to fight back. Allies and advocates: make your voices heard and stand up for survivors. Survivors: we believe you, we support you, and you are not alone. We will continue to fight with you.
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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.