US: 76 higher education institutions investigated for alleged poor handling of sexual violence complaints
WORLD / U.S. – the U.S. Education Department (ED) is now investigating 76 schools for alleged Title IX violations.
Title IX is a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. It was created to prohibit sex discrimination in education programs. According to the NCAA, since nearly every educational institution is a recipient of Federal funds, they are required to comply with Title IX.
20% female college students face sexual assault
According to a report by prepared by the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, one in five women will face sexual assault while attending college. The report further elaborated the situation: “Most often, it happens in her freshman or sophomore year. In the great majority of cases (75-80%), she knows her attacker, whether as an acquaintance, classmate, friend or (ex)boyfriend. Many are survivors of what’s called “incapacitated assault”: they are sexually abused while drugged, drunk, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated. And although fewer and harder to gauge, college men, too, are victimized.”
List of schools
The list of 76 tertiary institutions under investigation is listed below:
One such institution is the UCLA. The university has released a statement on its website. “UCLA has been informed that the campus has been added to a list of 76 colleges and universities under review by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IX compliance in the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct.
UCLA is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for our entire campus community. We take every complaint of sexual misconduct seriously, and offer a comprehensive range of care options for survivors. UCLA will work with the Department of Education in reviewing our practices relating to Title IX compliance.”
Schools have a crucial role to play
The White House report highlights the crucial role schools have to play in sexual assault allegations. “Sexual assault is a crime – and while some survivors turn to the criminal justice system, others look to their schools for help or recourse. Under federal law, when a school knows or reasonably should know that one of its students has been sexually assaulted, it is obligated to act. These two systems serve different (though often overlapping) goals.”
“The principal aim of the criminal system is to adjudicate a defendant’s guilt and serve justice. A school’s responsibility is broader: it is charged with providing a safe learning environment for all its students – and to give survivors the help they need to reclaim their educations. And that can mean a number of things – from giving a victim a confidential place to turn for advice and support, to effectively investigating and finding out what happened, to sanctioning the perpetrator, to doing everything we can to help a survivor recover.”
For information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault on college and university campuses, visit the Not Alone website set up by the U.S. government.