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Survivors Need Title IX

September 8, 2017

It has been long established that incidents of sexual assault and dating abuse on campus are unreported or underreported, perpetuating a culture of violence and silence that has threatened students for generations. While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been clear that she intends to undermine long-standing protections and recent efforts to strengthen Title IX legal protections, once again we hear from the Education Secretary that the current Administration has no intention of assuring students that their safety and best interests are central to the agenda.

Recent actions by DeVos, including her collaboration with men’s rights groups and sexual assault deniers, are among a list of alarming actions. Yesterday’s announcement of her intent to revisit the critically important 2011 guidelines on schools’ responsibilities to these victims is another blatant effort to weaken civil rights protections for victims under Title IX.

We can strive to ensure safe environments for our students if we strenuously enforce the laws and policies meant to protect them. Today, NNEDV stands with the students, advocates and survivors who continue to take a stand, to support survivors and hold offenders accountable. Weakening critical Title IX protections puts lives at risk. Indeed, creating more uncertainty and less accountability is precisely the wrong message the federal government should send to students and administrators.