Sexual Assault Policy Reversal Infuriates Campus Rape Combating Groups

By: Meghan Malas

Since the fall of famed figures Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes summer of 2017, it seems a new light is shining on the presence of sexual assault in every industry. Every day, more and more victims come forward with new stories of abuse. In the wake of this, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed an Obama-era policy on campus sexual assault investigations on October 22, 2017. DeVos cites the goal of giving more power to schools to deal with assault and accusations on a case by case basis.

The New York Times states, “Ms. DeVos plans to enact new rules after a public comment period that department officials said could take at least several months, and in the meantime, colleges may choose to maintain the lower standard of proof. She did not provide any hints about whether the final rules would force schools to adopt the higher standard.” This implies that the new policy set after the reversal of the current may require more proof than is currently recommended for investigation. CNN cites former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments on the events, “Now the Department of Education under new leadership is working to roll back the protections under Title IX that we worked so hard to put in place.”

Organizations like It’s On Us and End Rape on Campus and prominent Democrats have sought out legislation to combat the motions by DeVos. As this issue continues to become more and more prominent in the media and in the public light, it is unknown how the political stage will change in regards to reporting, investigating, and punishing sexual assault.

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