Sexual assault sadly occurs in a large number of our schools, and more often than not, the victims are either too uncomfortable or too fearful to approach law enforcement. For this reason, the Obama Administration revised Title IX protections to include sexual violence. This means that victims have much easier access within their school to the support and reparation they need, rather than having to report to law enforcement directly.

Tulsi Gabbard supported this Title IX revision, saying, "Because all public colleges, universities, and K-12 schools are now able to handle cases of sexual assault themselves, the victim is able to receive the focus he or she needs that they would otherwise not have access to simply by trying to get retribution through the criminal justice system. Those who survive these assaults have suffered extreme harm, and their perpetrators need to be held accountable by our criminal justice system."

Regardless of the incredible benefit these provisions provide, the US Department of Education has made the devastating move to rescind these Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors.

What will result from this short-sighted policy change? Tulsi Gabbard explains, "This will only put more people in danger and disproportionately affects women. Fewer survivors will report their assault to authorities for fear of retribution, social ostracization, or doubt that anyone will believe them." Also, if a survivor solely relies on due process, they are forced out of their school for their safety, as it generally takes years for their assailant to be tried.

Tulsi Gabbard condemned the change, saying, "We need to change the conversation around sexual assault and make the safety of our students our number one priority."

Education Department withdraws Obama-era campus sexual assault guidance

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced earlier this month that her department was concerned that previous guidance denied proper due process to those accused. As part of the interim guidance, the department released a Q&A outlining recommendations on how schools should respond, including guidance on what schools are obligated to do in response to allegations and their flexibility in establishing their own procedures.

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