Allies, Self advocacy

SCAR ally Alexandra Brodsky, a founding member of the “Know Your IX” movement, is petitioning the Department of Education to more stringently enforce the protection of students’ civil rights at institutions of higher education. Please take a moment to sign this groundbreaking petition, which will be personally delivered following a rally next week in Washington, D.C.

From the petition:

One in four women will be raped by the time she graduates college. And, often, survivors are betrayed by the school administrations they turn to after their assault. In this past year alone, hundreds of survivors from dozens of schools have bravely shared their experiences. Almost all have been silenced or ignored by their campus administrations, and most have been forced to drop classes, clubs, sports teams, jobs – or abandon their educations entirely – in order to ensure their basic safety.

These practices aren’t only unethical; they’re illegal. In 1972, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments – the landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantees students the fundamental right to education free from sexual violence and harassment. Yet, over 40 years later, little has changed: according to the National Institute of Justice, nearly two in three schools don’t follow anti-violence law.

Some of these schools have been investigated by the Department of Education (ED), the body charged with enforcing Title IX. But ED’s willingness to accept colleges’ promises to change their ways — rather than levy sanctions and publicly declare offending schools as “noncompliant” — isn’t working. In the face of ED’s leniency, schools aren’t changing their ways, and students continue to suffer sexual violence and institutional abuse.

To create safe, fair campuses across the country, we call on ED to join us in the fight against campus sexual violence by enforcing Title IX law.  The stakes couldn’t be higher. More than four decades after Title IX, it is long past time we be able to enjoy our right to safe education.
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Please take a moment to sign and share the petition with everyone you know. This affects you regardless of your gender. This affects your sisters and brothers who currently attend college, or have not yet started college.  This affects your children. Act now.

The Department of Education must adapt to new proof that colleges are not cooperating.

Aside
Cover art by Patrick Faricry.
Allies, SCAR in the news, Self advocacy

Our OSAC friends at Occidental are the cover story for the latest issue of LA Weekly

In Jessica Ogilvie’s June 27 piece Rape at Occidental College: Official Hush-Up Shatters Trust, Occidental allies Leah Capranica, Carly Mee, Audrey Logan, Danielle Dirks and Caroline Heldman describe a hostile environment in which, for example, Occidental staff belittle and dismiss the goals of the Occidental Sexual Assault Coalition.  Ogilvie cites an example of college counsel Carl Botterud accusing victims of vilifying men and announcing that OSAC members could go “fuck” themselves.

The eye-opening article also includes mention of the May press conference held in New York with Gloria Allred and delegates from USC, UC Berkeley, Swarthmore and Dartmouth.  SCAR co-president Tucker Reed is quoted discussing the USC complaint, and the federal civil rights and school policy violations alleged therein.

The article also features quotes from Allred and prominent psychologist and activist David Lisak, who offers a compelling argument for why rape is such an under-reported crime.  The article mentions how Lisak’s work suggests that 90 percent of college males who commit sexual violence are repeat offenders.

Ogilvie and Heldman also address a shocking but persuasive suspicion:

Colleges and universities have a disincentive to be upfront about rape allegations made on their campuses. If the number of such incidents got out, critics suggest, colleges could have a PR nightmare on their hands — one that could be costly come enrollment time. “The first wave of colleges that tell the truth about rates of rape and sexual assault on campus,” Oxy’s Heldman says, “will take a hit with admissions.”

Please check out Ms. Ogilvie’s complete article at LA Weekly’s website.

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