Leading National Sexual Assault Prevention Organizations Applaud Department of Education’s Release of New Title IX Regulations
Released on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the proposed updates will restore protections for student survivors of sexual assault
(WASHINGTON, DC): Today, leaders of End Rape On Campus and It’s On Us, two initiatives of Civic Nation leading the fight against sexual violence on college campuses, applauded the Biden Administration following the U.S. Department of Education’s release of new Title IX regulations that prioritize the protection of student survivors. Today also marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened doors to women in education and athletics and requires colleges and universities to investigate instances of campus sexual assault.
Changes to Title IX made under the Trump Administration removed protections for survivors of sexual assault, made it harder for students to report assault and limited the ability of campuses to investigate and address sexual violence. The proposed Title IX regulations released by the Biden Administration return to a more inclusive definition of sexual assault, improve the sexual assault investigation process and set up a new order of protection for student survivors at all levels.
“These necessary revisions will help restore the efficacy of Title IX as a crucial tool for combatting campus sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of sex-based discrimination on college campuses. Campus sexual assault is a public health crisis that needs to be addressed swiftly and intentionally,” said Kenyora Parham, Executive Director, End Rape On Campus. “While we wait for these new regulations to be finalized, the Department should act right now to protect students by issuing a non-enforcement directive of dangerous provisions of the current rule that perpetuate harm towards survivors. Students and survivors, especially those from historically excluded and marginalized communities, not only deserve but have a right to receive an education that is free from violence. Their livelihood depends on it.”
“It’s On Us is grateful to the Biden Administration for delivering these critical updates to Title IX that will make campus communities safer for all students. Every student deserves an education free from sexual violence, and survivors should not have their ability to pursue their education jeopardized because they are sexually assaulted. The Department of Education’s proposed regulations will return Title IX to its original purpose: holding institutions accountable for preventing sexual violence and ensuring students who are sexually assaulted can continue their education. These changes are a critical step towards reversing the devastating impact of the prior administration’s Title IX changes on student survivor rights and campus safety. As a next step, we’d like to see the Department take this work even further by re-issuing an updated Clery Handbook before the next academic year,” said Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director of It’s On Us.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX, End Rape On Campus and It’s On Us launched a campaign to educate and activate people around the need to strengthen Title IX for years to come. The campaign includes a PSA and billboards in major cities across the country that include the names of real survivors and increase awareness around the fact that one in five women on college campuses will experience sexual assault before graduation day.
In 2021, End Rape On Campus and It’s On Us joined a coalition of groups calling on the Biden-Harris administration to quickly reverse harmful changes made to the Title IX rules under former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and issue new regulations to support survivors. The coalition gathered more than 55,000 signatures in support of these demands from students, parents, lawmakers, activists and survivors. Earlier this month, the coalition sent a letter to President Biden urging the release of the new guidance ahead of the 50th anniversary of Title IX.