Be Informed: Alterations of Sexual Assault Handlings Protect the Accused Not the Victim

So politics are whack and the insanity continues as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sets about to evoke the Obama-era policies set in place to deal with sexual assault cases that occur on college campuses.

Within the Obama-era, rules and regulations were implemented nationwide on universities for dealings and processes by which sexual assault cases and accusations are to be handled. Needless to say, they are strict. Once accused, a student can face almost immediate termination of their acceptance to the university.

 

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Now, I know I don’t need to be the one to tell you that this is rarely actually implemented. The number of cases overlooked, forgotten, and ignored, completely outweigh actual concluded cases with implemented punishments. Still, despite this overwhelming majority, DeVos plans to bolster the means and methods implemented during the Obama-era and soon.

Like, within the next couple weeks soon.

The Washington Post makes the claim that this new implementation will give rights to the accused to fight the accusations, like being able to cross-examine their accusers. The articles referenced below both show the focus of DeVos and those behind her in this process: they are concerned for the accused. This is predominantly shown in the emotional appeal brought about by mentioning the touching stories of falsely accused students who had their lives abruptly ruined for next to no reason. This issue is real, and I am not here to ignore it. I am in shock that after so long of this issue raging like a wildfire, someone is finally doing something to protect the greater percentage of sexual assault survivors.

 

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Sexual assault is almost an epidemic in the college structure of life. Victims are constantly ignored and overlooked. Why aren’t we rewriting the processes to help them? Why isn’t there a call to justly examine cases for the sake of the victims rather than accused? Survivors huddled around the Education Department, requesting the rollback of federal protection for victims of sexual violence, according to The Washington Post. Protests have also been reported outside the agency’s D.C. Headquarters, on the concrete plaza.

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Title IX is a federal law that prohibits “sex discrimination at a federally funded institution,” according to the Washington Post. And, I am tempted to wonder if this rewrite can be beneficial to the victims in the long run. By hindering the small, but still there, number of false accusers by using a just system of examination, not only will people who are falsely accused be saved from what is sometimes a life-altering hindrance, but the cases that are then seen as true and real may then be taken more seriously.

There has been a lousy, lazy way of dealing with sexual discrimination cases in the U.S.’s history. And while bolstering the rights of the accused is like a slap in the face to anyone who has has survived a sex crime, I can only hope that this may mean that there will be a more intense, more judicial way of examining these crimes in the future and putting the rightly accused in the punishments they deserve.

At least, I hope this to be the case. However, it still may be exactly as it seems: a way of making it harder than ever for victims of sexual assault to get heard and get justice.

This desire to rewrite these protections has been long in coming, the first of the articles cited coming from July of last year (2017). Through this, I cannot be sure for what this new implementation of rights and processes will do or result in. If you would like to get a better understanding and feel for the situation yourself, I would highly suggest reading the articles below. I am only here to announce an important change in our story that is being overlooked. I can only hope that this does do something good for the vast array of females and males who have been and unfortunately will be a victim of a sex crime at a university, even if that good isn’t so easily seen from the surface.

 

Image found in Meckler article

 

Brown, Emma. “DeVos: Too Many College Students Have Been Treated Unfairly under Obama-Era Sexual Assault Policy.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 July 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/07/13/advocates-press-devos-to-keep-protections-in-place-for-victims-of-sexual-assault/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.00519f8c421a.

Meckler, Laura. “Betsy DeVos Set to Bolster Rights of Accused in Rewrite of Sexual Assault Rules.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 Nov. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/betsy-devos-set-to-bolster-rights-of-accused-in-rewrite-of-sexual-assault-rules/2018/11/14/828ebd9c-e7d1-11e8-a939-9469f1166f9d_story.html?utm_term=.b64d0097ff51.

 

Lady Justice of Ireland. Image found on Google Images