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Betsy DeVos is Making Campuses Safer for Rapists and Their Enablers

In the sports sector, what she’s proposing is the worst-case scenario.

Lindsay Gibb, Think Progress

In 2017, DeVos rescinded policies on campus sexual assault put in place by President Barack Obama in 2011 in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter. That Obama-era guidance set out to address growing concern about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses — according to RAINN, 23 percent of women and 5 percent of men on college campuses experience rape or sexual assault. But DeVos was among those who thought Obama’s policies stacked the deck against the people — primarily college-age men — who were accused of sexual assault.

In late 2018, Devos issued her own Title IX guidance, to the immediate alarm of advocates for sexual assault survivors and women’s rights groups. Among other things, the Devos rules restricts the scope of what counts as sexual harassment, limits the types of school employees responsible for reporting sexual assault, and narrows the very definition of what, exactly, counts as a campus sexual assault.

More than 100,000 people left public feedback for DeVos and the DOE about these proposals during the 60-day “notice and comment” period. Due to technical difficulties on the final official day of the comment period, there will be one more opportunity to provide feedback on Friday, February 15.

It’s safe to say there’s a true sense of panic about what these proposals would mean in practice. “These new regulations are focused on protecting abusers and protecting the educational institutions,” Linda Correia, a nationally recognized Title IX litigator, told ThinkProgress.

Read the full article here.

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