Jess Davidson says Betsy DeVos’ new Title IX plan could hurt sexual assault survivors.
“Had this regulation been enacted during the time when I went through with my Title IX case, the university wouldn’t have allowed me to move forward,” she stated. “It wouldn’t have counted.”
Title IX is a civil rights law that bans sex-based discrimination at any educational institution that receives federal funding. In November 2018, DeVos proposed new regulations that Davidson says would limit a school’s liability.
The interim executive director of End Rape on Campus, an organization that aims to end sexual violence on campuses decided to file a Title IX complaint after being sexually assaulted in college.
“I decided to move forward with the complaint so that I could feel safe on campus. But like the majority of college students, I was sexually assaulted off campus,” she explained.
Under DeVos’ proposed Title IX regulations, colleges would only be held liable if the incident occurred on campus or involved a student organization.
The DOE’s changes would also narrow the definition of sexual harassment so that it must be severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, as well as allow mediation and cross examination to take place after the alleged attack. All of these take power away from victims, while making assailants and campuses less liable.