Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. Title Ix addresses sexual harassment, sexual violence or any gender based discrimination that may deny a person access to educational benefits and opportunities.

Title IX and the previous President

Former President Barack Obama’s guidance on Title IX required schools to respond to reports of sexual violence. It was a controversial topic since the main question was how investigations were to be conducted into campus sexual assault and where they belong, either at the university or criminal justice system.

Campus rape facts

According to the US Department of Justice, in 2016, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a study of nine schools participating in the study of experiencing sexual assault since entering college. 21 per cent of the women who participated in the study reported that this occurred to them. Being a victim of sexual assault can impact a student’s mental and physical health life negatively. The majority of rape incident are unreported by victims and the study showed that only seven per cent of victims reported their rape.

Comments from the Secretary of Education

Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized the previous administration’s approach to campus sexual assault and accused it of imposing a “broken system” that mistreats both accused students and rape survivors.

In a speech on Thursday 7, 2017 at George Mason University, DeVos said her department would revise its existing guidance for complying with Title IX. DeVos many examples of students being put through a quasi-judicial procedure. A quasi- judicial procedure is an entity which has powers and procedures resembling those of a court and which is obliged to objectively determine facts and draw conclusions from them so as to provide the basis for an official action.

Such actions can affect the legal rights of parties.

Definition of rape as of 2013

There is not a universal definition of rape. In the case of the ex-Stanford student, Brock Turner, under Californian law, Turner technically is not a rapist because he did not penetrate his victim with his penis. In 2013, the FBI updated its definition of rape from “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” to “penetration, no matter how slight of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The definition of the word ‘consent’ is forever changing.

Positive changes made

Many colleges have attempted to prevent campus rapes from occurring and also try to raise awareness of the issue. The idea that women should be taught to avoid rape is a notion that needs to be thrown away. Instead, men should be taught how to respect a woman. According to the American journalist, Vanessa Grigoriadis, “We need more honesty that there is a sexualized culture, that girls are participating in it but they deserve to be able to participate in it without being assaulted.”