DeVos turns her back on college students who survive sexual assault


Before the year 1972, women could be denied admission to a university simply for being a woman. In those days, colleges could force victims of sexual assault to continue sharing a classroom with their abuser without penalty.

That’s why, almost 50 years ago, Congress enacted the Education Amendments Act — leading the U.S. Department of Education to enforce Title IX. It remains the first and only civil-rights law to prohibit sex discrimination in schools. And while we’ve made tremendous progress in certain areas — women now make up more than half of all college students in the United States — sexual harassment and assault have remained a heinous epidemic in our schools.

More than one in five women are sexually assaulted in college. As we have heard from so many brave survivors who have shared their stories in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the trauma that many of these victims experience remains with them for the rest of their lives. Sadly, one-third of student sexual-assault survivors drop out of school.

Despite the need for systemic changes to address sexual assault on college campuses, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos instead has proposed to roll back crucial protections for survivors. This complete abdication of the Education Department’s basic responsibilities would have disastrous consequences.

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