Sexual Abuse Lawyers Tackle Title IX Violations
When people reference Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, they often immediately think of gender discrimination in connection with collegiate athletics. However, Title IX does not simply cover the topic of sex discrimination in colleges and universities. In fact, Title IX carries over into practically any educational institution, even elementary schools. Violations of the federal law are not limited to sports-related activities, nor are they relegated to discrimination; they cover sexual abuse, too.
The Connection Between Sexual Abuse and Title IX
As a result of Title IX’s widespread coverage beyond athletics, sexual abuse lawyers may refer to Title IX in some cases involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. For instance, if a female elementary school student is sexually abused in a school bound by Title IX laws, her family may seek representation from a lawyer with Title IX familiarity.
Regrettably, many victims and their loved ones are still in the dark about the relationship between Title IX and certain claims of sexual abuse. Hopefully, more press stories will emerge to improve the understanding of Title IX, such as the 14-year-old girl from a southern state who successfully battled a Title IX sexual abuse case.
Real Cases of Title IX Sexual Abuse Violations
According to reports, a female student attending a middle school told an authority figure at her school that she was being sexually harassed by a boy. The authority figure believed her and then suggested she use herself as bait to see if he would try to assault her in the school restroom. Sadly, the girl complied with the idea to catch the boy, but the authority figure arrived too late to prevent the girl from being sexually violated. This led to the girl being raped in a bathroom stall. To the credit of the plaintiff’s lawyers and the courts, the case was settled between the school board and the plaintiff for $200,000.
In a very different situation, a female middle school student and her parents told the school about various forms of harassment, including inappropriate sexual touching by multiple students. The incidents spanned many weeks and resulted in the student leaving the school. The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights determined the school was non-compliant under Title IX and requested the school act to make restitution. One such action was to cover any costs incurred by the family as a result of the sexual harassment.
Although there are more Title IX violation reports across the nation, plenty of young victims of sexual abuse in schools do not make the connection. Anyone who has been sexually victimized should contact a sexual abuse lawyer immediately. Lawyers well-versed in sexual violation cases can determine if a situation falls under Title IX, as well as how to proceed.
Georgetown Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Title IX Sexual Abuse
If you or someone you know has been sexually victimized in a private or public educational institution, please contact a Georgetown sexual abuse lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we serve clients from the surrounding areas of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Title IX Regulations Off Campus
Title IX prohibits university education programs and activities that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. While regulations related to Title IX programs have existed since the law’s passage in 1972, these rules are receiving a complete overhaul under a new proposal introduced by the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. One of the more significant changes affects the way a university or college deals with its investigation of off campus sexual abuse.
Handling Allegations of Off Campus Sexual Misconduct
Under the new regulations, a school is required to investigate a student’s report of sexual misconduct occurring off campus only if the student is at a campus-sanctioned event or activity. Off campus Greek housing for sororities and fraternities is defined in the proposed regulation as a school-sanctioned activity and would not be exempt from the mandate to investigate all sexual conduct reports.
Campus-sanctioned events or activities include situations where:
- The activity is held on a premises owned by the school
- The school exercises oversight or supervision
- The school holds disciplinary power
- The school provides funding
- The school endorses or promotes the event
Although not specifically set forth in the proposed regulations, experts believe study abroad programs and professional internship programs connected to a university also would fall under the category of campus-sanctioned.
The proposed regulations could result in some incidents of sexual misconduct occurring off campus, affecting on-campus learning or creating a hostile learning environment, but will not qualify as a Title IX issue. Although colleges are not required to investigate off campus incidents, colleges are not prohibited from investigating incidents involving students that occur off campus. Many higher education organizations believe universities will continue to extend student disciplinary codes and student-conduct proceedings to apply to off-campus incidents.
Fairness to Students Accused in Sexual Assault Cases
According to Secretary DeVos, the new regulations have been designed to ensure a fair grievance process that protects victims of sexual abuse while allowing students accused of sexual misconduct to defend themselves without a predetermination of guilt. The new regulations set forth the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty and gives the accused the right to cross-examine their accuser and participate in a live hearing. To ensure impartiality in investigations, schools may no longer rely on single investigators in responding to sexual misconduct complaints.
Support for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
To support campus sexual abuse victims, universities would be required to provide counseling, leaves of absence, and no-contact orders for students recovering from sexual abuse. Many victims’ rights organizations, including the Victim Rights Law Center, fear the new regulations will result in fewer sexual misconduct victims coming forward.
Georgetown Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Assist Sexual Abuse Victims
If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse, help is available. With offices conveniently located in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, the experienced Georgetown sexual abuse lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. proudly represent victims of sexual abuse throughout the state, including those in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online.