Title IX and college rape: A series of injustice, the conclusion

This series started in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of colleges attempting to adjudicate accusations of sexual assault on their campuses. Part 1 discussed two separate cases: Both men were clearly not responsible for what they were accused of; however, both had life-altering consequences. Part 2 discussed a case in which both the male and the female said it was not rape, and both parties filed their own Title IX lawsuits after the school refused to drop the case. Part 3 not only outlined an additional innocent man, but also brought the effects of a few of the “lucky” young men who were accused and found not responsible and the lingering effects of the accusation. In Part 4, a young man who was actually a victim of sexual assault was later held responsible regardless of the facts presented.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is one of the resources available to those who find themselves accused. SAVE recently released a detailed report on this topic. The 261 lawsuits reviewed included 207 separate universities. If that is not considered a systematic failure, I don’t know what is.

One judge involved in the case of Dez Wells v. Xavier University said:

“Moreover, it appears to the Court that the [University Conduct Board] here, a body well-equipped to adjudicate questions of cheating, may have been in over its head with relation to an alleged false accusation of sexual assault. Such conclusion is strongly bolstered by the fact that the County Prosecutor allegedly investigated, found nothing, and encouraged Defendant Father [Michael] Graham to drop the matter.”

Another judge, this one involved in John Doe v. Brandeis, said on page 12 of his ruling:

“Whether someone is a ‘victim’ is a conclusion to be reached at the end of a fair process, not an assumption to be made at the beginning. Each case must be decided on its own merits, according to its own facts.”

Case after case in this analysis shows the repeated lack of due process, shifted burdens of proof, a presumption of guilt, negligence, breach of contract and erroneous outcomes that cause major damage to people’s lives. These cases continue to be filed, not only by the accused but many times by the accusers because their cases were mishandled so badly.

So how do we change it? I have written story after story in this series that has now gone on for nearly two months, along with hundreds of hours of research before I started writing. What good is describing a problem if you don’t also propose a solution?

I am not involved in politics and can only offer my suggested changes that extend across the board.

First and foremost is dismantling the “one in five” theory — the oft-repeated claim that one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted. President Obama and other politicians have repeated this statistic, which has been thoroughly debunked.

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