DeVos rescinds Title IX

DeVos perpetuates rape culture in America with the reversal of Title IX

The United States has grown progressively grim since the installment of the Trump administration- so the September 7 reversal of Obama-Era protections for sexual assault victims by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is not surprising.  Victim blaming is not unheard of in America, but this decision further advances the normalcy of the prominence of rape culture in American society.  DeVos asserts that she wants to ensure fairness for victims and the accused since she believes that the accused have been failed by the Obama-era guidelines under Title IX by having their due process rights taken away.

Title IX is part of the Education Amendment of 1972 and is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on sex in any educational program that receives federal financial assistance.  In 2011, the Obama administration released a “Dear Colleague”  letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in order to increase the responsibility of schools under Title IX and for colleges to take sexual assault allegations seriously.  The letter urged colleges to increase their efforts in investigating allegations of sexual assault under Title IX or else they would risk losing federal funds.  

The Obama administration went as far as to launch the “It’s On Us” campaign in 2014, which according to its website, aims to end sexual assault in America and encourage people to speak up when they see signs of sexual assault.  The campaign helps victims and educates citizens on the topic of sexual assault and informs them on what consent really means.  The Obama administration made strides towards reversing rape culture and ending sexual assault–especially on college campuses by ensuring that the victim’s voices would be heard.  So, the reversal of Title IX by DeVos just further proves where the Trump administration’s priorities lie.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted.  Stanford University affirms that only 2% of all sexual assaults and rape charges are proven to be false.  Sexual assault is common on college campuses and guidelines need to be in place to protect the victims–not the accused.  Title IX forced colleges to take sexual assault cases seriously–creating a safer campus.

Rape and sexual assault are the most underreported crimes, with an estimated 63% of cases remain unreported to police and 88% of child sexual abuse remains unreported to authorities.  The way that America views sexual assault must change and victims of sexual assault should not be afraid to speak up–which is what the Obama administration attempted to do with Title IX.  America has miles to go in order to erase the dominance of rape culture, but reversing Title IX is the opposite direction in which we need to head.

America now has a president who has had multiple sexual assault allegations and who has openly disrespected women.  In a video leaked before the election, Trump was heard saying, “I just start kissing them.  Just kiss.  I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star they let you do it.  You can do anything.”  As the video continues, he mentions touching women inappropriately, sparking outrage.  With this as an example for American citizens, rape culture is becoming further normalized.

It is time that America takes sexual assault seriously and helps victims–

America has miles to go in order to erase the dominance of rape culture, but reversing Title IX is the opposite direction in which we need to head.”

not degrade them further and cause fear.  DeVos must create a system that protects the victims like Obama did with Title IX, not work to protect the accused.  America must act in order to make college campuses safe for all students and protect victims from discrimination, urging them to step forward in order to change the way sexual assault is dealt with.