title ix and victims of campus sexual misconductServices
Sexual violence and misconduct still occur on college and university campuses across the country. In addition to filing a police report, the victims of campus sexual misconduct are also protected under the law by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX provides the victims of campus sexual misconduct with legal recourse and also sets out guidelines for schools on how to handle these complaints. Understanding your rights under Title IX is important for anyone that has faced sexual misconduct, discrimination, or violence at an educational institution that receives federal funding.
Types of Campus Sexual Misconduct
There are different types of sexual misconduct that students may encounter on campus. Some acts are sexual assaults, while others are more subtle forms of discrimination. No matter what form it comes in, these actions can affect your mental health, your schoolwork, and perhaps even your physical safety.
Gender discrimination is also covered under Title IX regulations. This involves treating someone unfairly based on their gender. From sex stereotypes to outright sexism, gender discrimination can take many forms, some of them subtle. Often, this discrimination comes as a form of retaliation.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This behavior is typically offensive and could involve requests for sexual favors or simply offensive remarks about a student’s sex. This type of harassment could interfere with a student’s right to an education if it forces them to change their behavior, or avoid certain students or faculty.
The most extreme form of sexual misconduct is sexual violence. This term covers an array of sexual acts, all of which are criminal in nature. Some examples include rape, sexual assault, or sexual battery. In addition to the use of force or manipulation to obtain non-consensual sexual activity, it also includes acts with a person unable to give consent, such as someone who is unconscious or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol.
A School’s Responsibility Under Title IX
There are several requirements under Title IX that schools and universities must adhere to. When a school learns of an allegation of sexual misconduct, it is required by the law to respond in a prompt manner. The administration has an obligation to investigate the allegations once they are aware of them. Additionally, Title IX does not allow a college or university to simply leave the matter to the police to deal with if the allegations involve an education program or activity. A school must move forward with its own investigation, regardless of the status of a criminal case.
Each school must adopt and distribute a written policy to address sexual misconduct. This policy should be updated regularly and strictly enforced. It must also appoint a Title IX coordinator that oversees compliance issues.
Student Rights Under Title IX
All students are protected by Title IX. This includes international students and even prospective students visiting campus. When someone files a Title IX complaint with a college or university, there are several steps the school might take. In some cases, the administration could impose interim measures to protect a victim during the course of an investigation. These measures could include issuing a non-contact order to a respondent or requiring the respondent to move to different on-campus housing.
If the Title IX coordinator ultimately determines that the reported conduct implicates Title IX, the administration will move forward with disciplinary case. A disciplinary hearing could result in an array of sanctions for a respondent, including loss of a scholarship, removal from sports teams, or even expulsion from school.
If you were the victim campus sexual misconduct as outlined in Title IX, speak with a trustworthy attorney from KJK to learn how we could help you. It is important to report the incident as soon as possible so that evidence can be preserved and an investigation can begin.