A Campus Free of Fear

As summer approaches, young people around the country are celebrating graduations and planning for exciting new beginnings in the fall – a new school year, perhaps a transition to middle or high school, or a move onto a college campus. These transitions should be exciting, positive, and healthy experiences for students and their families.

Certainly, these new beginnings bring about many challenges, too. But worrying about sexual assault should not be one of them.

Unfortunately, too many young people are denied the basic right to an education free from fear and violence. When schools and colleges ignore reports of sexual violence, and when they retaliate against victims who come forward, they violate this right.

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Education released the names of 55 institutions of higher education under investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.

Carnegie Mellon is one of the universities under investigation, as a result of a complaint filed by the ACLU on behalf of a sexual assault survivor there. The release of the list follows the publication of the first report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

Ending gender-based violence on college campuses should be a top priority for government at all levels. Sexual violence is a serious public health problem with devastating consequences for individuals and entire communities. According to the latest available data, 19 percent of women and 6.1 percent of college men report experiencing completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college.

Rape and sexual assault survivors often suffer from a wide range of physical and mental health problems – including depression, chronic pain, diabetes, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder – and they are more likely than non-victims to attempt or consider suicide. Survivors may experience difficulty in their relationships, a drop in GPA, or difficulty maintaining a full course load, or they may decide to drop out of school altogether.

But sexual violence is not an inevitable aspect of life on college campuses – or anywhere else for that matter – and individual cases do not exist in isolation. Institutions play a central role in setting the tone when it comes to gender equity – a tone that varies depending on how the institution responds to and works to prevent sexual violence. Colleges and universities deprive students of the right to an equal education when they discourage victims from coming forward and refuse to respond effectively to complaints.

Not only is this wrong, it is also illegal. Title IX of the Education Amendments has prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding since 1972. Discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, rape, and sexual assault.

Title IX is pretty awesome because it is expansive. By addressing the various needs and challenges faced by survivors, Title IX pushes universities to do a better job of creating a campus environment that discourages and, ideally, prevents sexual violence. It is an important resource for survivors, who are too often denied remedies and are themselves pushed out of school.

Students, you are not powerless and you are not alone.

You, too, can help ensure that all students can attend school free from fear of gender-based violence. Empower yourselves and your friends by learning more about your rights. We've created these resources to help you do just that. Spread the word!

Learn more about sexual assault and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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My daughter had that happen to her in Middle School. She wasn't doing well with grades, had been in major trouble the year before and this was his way of doing it AND keeping her quiet about it - because it would have been easier for the rich-snob community she lived in to believe his reputation over hers when it finally came out - and that's exactly what happened too.
We had to drag it from her, which her dad did by never letting it drop. A sudden change in her behavior made us worry that she might be going back to the trouble she had found the year before, which culminated in nearly ending her life.
We believed her when she said what had happened but the community never did. Or nobody ever told us they did. I'm guessing they preferred to think their little community was safe from turning into a Stepford Wives neighborhood so they stuck their heads back in the sand and showed us a less attractive feature.

No Rights

And what of the rights you deny people based on their sex with the trial without jury practices that the campuses engage in? The reality is, the vast majority of so-called "sexual assaults" are consensual encounters that occur when both parties are intoxicated. The agency of females in these situations is denied and the agency of males considered immutable. There are no women ever punished in society for engaging in drunk sexual behavior with a man. There are many men punished for this because of the pervasive belief that women are inferior and stupid and incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions.

When will the ACLU get back on the side of both the U.S. Constitution by demanding due process even for alleged sexual assault and by demanding that one sex is not held to a higher standard of personal accountability than the other.

It's truly despicable to see that the ACLU doesn't represent the rights of everyone, but only those who are liberally acceptable to regard as people with rights and liberties.

I will never support this organization again.


Similar here, this is about the sexual harassment, my son has same experience from the same treatment of the same home school of my new house from his 3rd grade to 6th grade with the bully issues. After reporting to the school principal about my son has been pushed down from the high slide 2 times from 3 different kids without any staff around, my son has been treated like a target/terrorist/rather than a victim to be forced out of the public school system twice within these 3 years by the staffs' continuous/intended mistakes. They(teachers, the principal, the staffs of the district, all the way of the Education system, the police, city Mayor & councils, the Senator, the Congresswoman, even the White House , etc.) blamed us not reporting right away, ignored my continuous reports, even persuaded us all of happening were only our imagination (don't be surprised if they act like actors/actresses on TV), kept lying/covering up for each other (very regret to send my son in public schools to see so many "professional educators" terrible behaviors, no wonder now most parents chose/were forced to choose home schooling like K-12 or private schools). Without any of their positive response/real help (since my written reports to the school district, all of them started to zip their mouth), the police of my city asked the teacher of my son to file a restraining order against me and told the school OK to check my son's, who has done nothing wrong rather than too behaved keeping been bullied, backpack in a public area. Two years ago, the school district did not release my son to attend to other school district, now finally released us, but they has told other districts to deny my son to go, so please don't make any of our mistake to expect any help from any governmental staffs or police. No law is protecting parents under this situation (the police would only keep telling us that it is a civic matter even after the principal's apology in front of a policeman)!!! No wonder why there are so many young age kids would end up to shoot others and themselves in schools continuously since nobody who should help them helps. Can banning weapons to stop the situation? NO WAY! The US system is not protecting the people, rather than its system. Please stop helping other countries rather than itself. If you don't believe, you should check the comments of Facebook under this news, or ratings & reviews of each school to know the truths. May I ask whose responsibility is this??? Parents???

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