How Federal Actions May Help Campus Sexual Assault Victims


Offering insight on the White House plan to help colleges and universities deal with sex assaults on campus, NPR recounted its 2010 investigation of the issue with the Center for Public Integrity. Federal laws are supposed to help hold colleges accountable, but schools almost never expel men, even when the school found that a man was responsible for sexual assault. In 2011, the Department of Education issued new rules it expected schools to follow when it investigated a sexual assault. These included telling schools that they needed to investigate complaints in a timely manner and that the person who brought a complaint had to be told the results.

Last year, the new federal Campus Save Act required that victims be told all their rights, where to go for counseling. It set up procedures to protect the rights of both the accused and the accuser. Sometimes a woman will go to police and prosecutors at the same time that she’s pursuing an action on the college campus. That is her choice. Often, the person who’s been assaulted wants an answer on campus. They want to be able to stay on campus. The standard of evidence is lower for campus disciplinary procedures. It may be easier to get a conclusion to a case that way.

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