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Do You #BelieveSurvivors? 

Then we need your help.

The U.S. Department of Education has released a proposed rule on Title IX that would formally eliminate many of the protections for sexual assault survivors established under the Obama administration. Click here to submit your public comment. 

This is a proposed rule to change existing law that would heavily impact students. The rule would:

  • Allow schools, colleges, and universities to refuse to investigate sexual assault cases that occur off campus or cases that weren’t formally reported, including cases of online harassment.
  • Heavily narrow the definition of sexual harassment and assault, which for decades, has been defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, so many cases can no longer be described as such.
  • Allow colleges and universities to apply a more onerous standard to prove harassment or assault, which many young people would not be able to meet.
  • Make it easier for religious colleges and universities to claim an exemption from Title IX.
  • Encourage informal, “work-it-out” mediation practices that were previously banned and are proven not to work.
  • Allow the cross-examination of survivors in school disciplinary settings.
  • Greatly narrow the level of authority and responsibility staff and faculty have for addressing sexual harassment and assault, instead forcing survivors to go to people with “authority to institute corrective measures,” such as deans, instead of people they might trust and interact with more, such as RAs.


How you can help:

This proposed rule entered a 60-day comment period that ends on January 28. The comment period is an important part of the rule-making process which allows us to voice our opinions and concerns regarding any particular rule. We need you to take action and stand with survivors of sexual assault by submitting a public comment opposing this harmful rule. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Submit your comment (sample comments below).
  2. Click here to submit your public comment against attacks on Title IX and sexual assault survivors.
  3. Share the link online and tell your friends and family to submit a public comment. Use the Hashtags: #HandsOffIX, #TitleIX, #BelieveSurvivors


Sample Comments:

  • The Trump-Pence administration’s move to weaken Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors leaves students who report sexual assault without a roadmap to justice. Students’ health and safety is on the line. I strongly oppose this rule. 
  • I stand with survivors of sexual assault. I am very concerned about the harmful effect that this rule will have on survivors of sexual assault and I oppose these changes to Title IX.
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants the Department of Education to increase protections for those accused of sexual assault and lessen the responsibilities that schools have to protect survivors of sexual assault. In a world where 77% of sexual assaults go unreported, this new rule will make it even harder for survivors of sexual violence to come forward. I strongly oppose this proposed rule.
  • The proposed rule change to Title IX would have devastating consequences on campuses and on survivors of sexual assault. I strongly oppose this rule change and urge that we stand with survivors.

Note: If you would like to share a personal story about how this would affect you as a student, or how this would affect your community, please feel free to add that to your comment.


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