Accuser's Rights & Title IX Rollbacks: A National Conversation

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November 16th, 2018:  Under Betsy Devos, the Department of Education proposed new rules regarding Title IX procedures on college campuses. These rules were largely believed to expand rights for students accused of sexual assault, while rolling back many Obama administration protections for survivors of sexual assault. 

Cross-examining the accuser: Perhaps the most controversial new rule would allow students accused of sexual assault to cross-examine their accuser. Current best practice in Title IX case management  does not even require the parties involved to be in the same room.

A concerning trend: This roll-back is just one example of how our national dialogue has shifted to favor conversation around "rights of the accused." 

National Conversation: Accuser's Rights 

Hanna Stotland: Helping Students Accused of Sexual Assault
Get Back Into School

Featured Video Description: Hanna Stotland is a Chicago-based Educational Consultant specializing in crisis management. Hanna is hired by the families of students expelled from universities because of sexual assault allegations to help them gain admittance to different universities. Hanna's work is symbolic of the national shift in the conversation of rights of the accused in Title IX cases.

Hanna Stotland Bio:

Hanna Stotland began getting phone calls from students expelled from universities for sexual misconduct in 2014.

Since then she has seen an increase in the number of cases she receives and has successful helped students gain re-entry to universities across the country.

Hanna considers herself a former "troubled student" and says that she finds meaning in helping other troubled students because she "speaks their language." She dropped out of high school, but later completed her GED and would eventually graduate from Harvard University Law School.

Accuser's Rights Make National Headlines

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The nomination of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh stirred up controversy after Christine Blasey Ford's public accusations of sexual assault came to light. Kavanaugh sympathizers argued that believing Ford over Kavanaugh would set dangerous precedent and made them fear for the protection of their sons.

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During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women. Since then, he has continually communicated distrust in women that accuse men of sexual assault and voiced unwavering belief and support for Brett Kavanaugh throughout his nomination and confirmation.

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Ever since the 2018 investigation of Harvey Weinstein, the #Metoo movement has exploded with widespread support - empowering women across the nation to speak up about sexual misconduct. Still, opponents of the movement voice concerns that men are now "unsafe" and that the movement deliberately attempts to divide men.

An Abridged Title IX History

Resources for those experiencing sexual misconduct:

 

If you have experienced sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct at your university, please consider reaching out for resources at your campus wellness center or office of student development. If you are unsure of where to go, seek out university staff such as resident assistants, residence hall directors, or professors. Know that you are in control and you are not alone.