Credo Action

Comments needed: Protect Title IX from Betsy DeVos

    Send a public comment

    The public comment to the U.S. Department of Education reads:

    By submitting this form, your name, address and comments will be filed with a public agency and become public record.

    You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

    Comments needed: Protect Title IX from Betsy DeVos

    It’s official: Betsy DeVos cares more about the rights of accused rapists than sexual assault survivors.

    In a speech in early September, DeVos promised to undo Obama-era guidance on how colleges and universities should address sexual assault on their campuses. Now, despite massive criticism of her plan, she has followed through on her promise. She has rescinded the guidance, left enforcement up to the whims of individual schools, and given equal standing to sexual assault survivors and the small percent of people who have been wrongly accused.1

    If DeVos has her way, the Department of Education (DOE) will turn its back not only on survivors, but on years of progress against a national epidemic of campus sexual assault. Before she finalizes her new Title IX rules, we need to show overwhelming public opposition to her dangerous agenda to roll back protections for survivors of sexual violence. Can you add your voice today?

    Submit a public comment to the DOE: Protect and defend sexual assault survivors. Don’t weaken Title IX enforcement.

    One in five women are sexually assaulted in college.2 Schools are responsible for responding to student reports of sexual violence, but many universities have a terrible record of sweeping sexual assault cases under the rug to protect their bottom lines. When educational institutions do not protect sexual assault survivors, they are not only sanctioning rape and other forms of sexual violence, but also denying these students the opportunity to continue their education. Survivors of sexual assault often suffer from depression, PTSD and other mental health conditions.3 Many even drop out of school after an attack.

    In the face of this epidemic, the Obama administration issued important guidance to clarify how Title IX, which mandates gender equality in education, should be used to fight campus sexual assault.4 The guidance made it easier for students to report sexual violence to their institution. It also required schools and universities to handle reports quickly and fairly and provide accommodations for survivors so they do not face their assailants daily in their dorms and classrooms.5,6

    According to a recent Title IX DOE report, there are 344 open sexual violence investigations at 242 postsecondary schools on the books right now.7 But, DeVos, who recently sat down with misogynistic “men’s rights” groups that promote victim-blaming and intimidate assault survivors,8 has now rescinded that guidance and is giving accused rapists and sexual harassers the benefit of the doubt.

    It is time for DeVos to hear from tens of thousands of people demanding that she use her power and the power of Title IX to stand with campus sexual assault survivors. Will you add your comment now?

    Submit a public comment to the DOE: Protect and defend sexual assault survivors. Don’t weaken Title IX enforcement.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Todd Spangler, "Betsy DeVos scraps Obama-era college sexual misconduct rules," Detroit Free Press, Sept. 22, 2017.
    2. Michelle J. Anderson, “I’m a college president. Betsy DeVos should help me deal with campus sexual assault.” The Washington Post, July 13, 2017.
    3. Casey Quinlan, “Betsy DeVos echoes ‘men’s rights’ activists on campus rape,” ThinkProgress, July 14, 2017.
    4. Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Trump Administration’s Fraught Attempt To Address Campus Sexual Assault,” The New Yorker, July 15, 2017.
    5. 114 survivors of sexual assault, “Betsy DeVos, This is What Sexual Assault Survivors Want to Know: ‘Who are you here to serve?’” Teen Vogue, July 12, 2017.
    6. Andrew Kreighbaum, “DeVos Hints at Changes in Title IX Enforcement,” Inside Higher Ed, July 14, 2017.
    7. Greg Toppo, “DeVos on sex assault survivors and the accused: 'All their stories are important,’” USA Today, July 13, 2017.
    8. Kaitlin Menza, “Betsy DeVos’ Campus Rape Talks with Men’s Rights Groups Are a Travesty,” SELF, July 14, 2017.