Target: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Goal: Hold colleges and universities accountable for breaking the law by refusing to help sexual assault victims
A recent study suggests that nearly two thirds of colleges and universities in the U.S. don’t comply with the law to protect students either before or after sexual assault. The Department of Education has found only one school non-compliant with the law publicly so far. This must change, as statistics show that in the U.S., 1 in 4 women in college will be raped at least once. The Department of Education needs to hold schools publicly accountable for failing to comply with the law in protecting victims of sexual assault. Such offenses may include, but are not limited to, covering up cases of rape, urging victims not to talk publicly about it, or failing to punish the perpetrator.
When college and university administration fails to report and deal with a case of rape, they are breaking the law. A civil rights legislation, called the Title IX of the Education Amendments, prohibits the discrimination of the basis of sex and guarantees students the right to an education free from sexual violence and harassment. And yet, nearly 2 in 3 schools don’t follow this anti-violence law, nor does the Department of Education address it publicly and punish the schools. In fact, the most a school will get is a slap on the wrist.
The Department of Education should enforce Title IX and impose sanctions against colleges and universities that fail to report rape. It should be proactive about initiating investigations of colleges rather than relying on official student complaints that often get ignored by school administrators. The Department of Education must treat these cases with urgency and on a timely matter. In many cases the process to investigate takes years, leaving many victims in suffering. This often results in forced transferring or dropping out of college altogether.
Sign this petition to demand justice for victims of sexual assault. Urge the Department of Education to follow the law that sets rules for colleges and universities on how to address sexual assault on campuses. Too many victims have had their lives destroyed not just by these horrific crimes, but also by being neglected by the same institutions that are supposed to protect them.
Dear Arne Duncan,
I urge you to take matters into your hands and demand that the Department of Education punish colleges and universities for not reporting sexual assault crimes and silencing victims. Under Title IX of the Education Amendments students have the fundamental right to an education free from sexual violence and harassment. So far there has only been one school that the Department of Education has publicly admitted to be non-compliant with the law.
I demand that the Department of Education enforce Title IX and impose sanctions against colleges and universities for failing to report rape and protect the victims. It should also ensure that the proceedings of treating these cases are done on a timely fashion without inflicting more damage on the victims who often graduate by the time any legal action is done or are forced to transfer or drop out.
[Your Name here]
Photo credit: genderuniversity.com