Higher ed still searching for common approaches to handling sexual assault
- The Parent Toolkit profiles growing frustration from a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill student who says that six months after reporting and complying with a sexual assault investigation, the school has not taken action against her alleged attacker, a member of the university's football team.
- UNC officials say they have implemented policies to encourage reporting and awareness of campus sexual assault prevention, a growing area of emphasis for monitoring by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Some advocates say the ED interventions on sexual assault have created an environment where due process is a hindrance more than a right. A male student at the University of North Dakota was expelled for more than than a year after local police determined that he was not only innocent of a rape accusation, but that the claimant filed a false report.
The number of lawsuits being filed against schools for improper procedures or due process violations continues to grow out of rape cases nationwide, but they still pale in comparison to the number of sexual assaults reported and not reported on campuses. That basic math will always drive the conversation about how school handle individual incidents, and how the federal government will proceed with making protections of students a primary issue in higher education.
For administrators, the only protections are constant awareness building campaigns about sexual assault, its definitions, the importance of reporting, and the penalties for individuals and the school associated with claims. No one can prevent sexual assault, but all campuses can make clear the institutional rejection of the act and the encouragement of communities to work against cultures which promote it.
- Parent Toolkit A hostile system? How colleges are responding to campus sexual assaults
- Education Dive Potential anti-male bias revives Title IX lawsuit