E-Advocacy for December
Dec 06 , 2018/Category
Help Protect Sexual Assault Survivors

According to the National Women’s Law Center, one in five women drop out of school because their school won’t investigate their complaints of sexual violence. Things just got worse.

Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration education secretary, has proposed new rules that will govern Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded schools. These rules will:

  • Limit the responsibility of colleges and school districts to investigate complaints of sexual harassment, assault and rape;
  • Strengthen the rights of the accused; and
  • Save educational institutions millions of dollars over the next decade.

The Department of Education is accepting comments on these proposed rules from the public until January 28th.  Click here to protect sexual assault survivors by leaving a comment in opposition to the proposed rules.

A sample comment for your use is provided below:

Dear Secretary DeVos,

As a concerned citizen and Reform Jew, I am writing you today to express my strong opposition to the proposed rule “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance” (RIN 1870-AA14). 1 in 5 women, 1 in 4 transgender or gender non-conforming students, and 1 in 18 men are sexually assaulted during their time in college. If this proposed rule goes into effect, it will be even more difficult for survivors to report their assaults. Our Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity of human life as a core principle of our value system and therefore imposes a moral duty to prevent violence if at all possible. Allowing this proposed rule to be put into place would be going against that sacred duty.

I am writing today to stand up for students and other fellow human beings and to demand the same standards of transparency for both survivors and the accused in the reporting process. The proposed rule gives special rights to alleged perpetrators while encouraging schools to disbelieve or dismiss survivors when they report violence. I urge you to withdraw this proposed rule and reimplement the 2011 guidance, which is more likely to provide sexual assault survivors the justice they deserve.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]