FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2018
Contact: Jolene Cardenas,
Director of Communications and Development
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA)
Direct Line: 720.330.8922
CCASA REMAINS IN SOLIDARITY WITH CAMPUS SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
TO SURVIVORS AND THEIR LOVED ONES: WE BELIEVE YOU, WE SUPPORT YOU, AND WE CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE ON YOUR BEHALF
DENVER, CO – Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would diminish protections under Title IX, the 1972 law that bars gender discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal funds. Over a year after the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) revoked crucial Title IX guidance for the way campuses address sexual misconduct, the Department’s final proposed rules have been released and they’re worse than we ever could have imagined.
Specifically, the proposed rule would weaken Title IX’s protections by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment, allow processes that discourage survivors from reporting, punish survivors when they do report, allow schools to avoid accountability for failing to protect students from a hostile environment, and place a disproportionate burden on students who have traditionally been the most vulnerable to violence and harassment, including women, students of color, and LGBTQ students. These new rules will harm students, allow perpetrators to escape responsibility, create dangerous environments that are impossible for survivors to learn in, and push some survivors out of school altogether.
The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault is deeply disturbed by the Department’s blatant attempt to tilt the scales of fairness in favor of those who commit acts of sexual violence on college campuses. Where 1 in 5 women, nearly 1 in 18 men, and more than 1 in 4 transgender and gender-nonconforming students are sexually assaulted while in college, we remain committed to advocating for every student to have the right to access meaningful education in an environment safe from sexual violence and harassment. Students deserve campuses where violations will be taken seriously and survivors will be believed and treated fairly – we need our supporters to take action now.
With so many students’ well-being at stake, we cannot allow the Department to roll back years of progress that will force survivors to live in fear and allow schools to abdicate their responsibility to protect students’ civil rights to access education. Before the proposed rules become law, the Department must provide opportunity for public input in a process called the “Notice and Comment” period. During this 60-day period, we have the opportunity to advocate against these problematic rules that will endanger the lives of students and create a hostile environment on campuses nationwide. To support this effort, CCASA is proud to offer Colorado advocates, survivors, and allies training and technical assistance on how to participate in the Notice and Comment period. Together we can voice our concerns and demand accountability from the DOE as well as express our support for survivors. For more information please visit handsoffix.org #handsoffix #protecttitleix #supportsurvivors