Today’s most depressing news comes courtesy of American Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who has decided to roll back protections for victims of campus sexual assault introduced under Obama. DeVos announced that the Trump administration would do away with the current sexual assault guidelines, aka Title IX, during a speech at George Mason University this week. Her rationale for the decision mirrors the “there was blame on both sides” comments Trump recently made about white supremacists. We told you this was going to be depressing.
“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” she said. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”
Neena Chaudhry, a representative from the National Women’s Law Center, has countered these comments by saying that the issue is not with the guidelines — which do require fair process and equal representation — but with their implementation. “Schools are not getting it right sometimes — both for accused students and survivors,” she told Politico. “But the answer is not to change the law, but to help schools comply with it.”
DeVos said that the Trump administration does not plan to replace the guidelines immediately, but rather, will gather feedback from the public and institutions in “a transparent notice and comment process”. Oh cool, so you’re suspending the current guidelines and replacing them with nothing. Great idea!
Earlier this year, DeVos met with several fringe men’s rights activist groups and men who claimed to have been falsely accuse of sexual assault to discuss campus rape. She raised this issue of false accusation several times during her speech despite the fact that only 2-10 percent of reported rapes turn out to be false claims.
“A judgment that changes the direction of both students’ lives. The right to appeal may or may not be available to either party and no one is permitted to talk about what went on behind closed doors. It’s no wonder so many call these proceedings kangaroo courts,” DeVos said. FYI “kangaroo courts” is a term favoured by men’s rights activist groups that think the current system provides unfair privilege to victims.
Jess Davidson, the managing director of End Rape of Campus, told The Independent that placing emphasis on the plight of “both sides” isn’t okay. Obviously.
“She said something about how lives have been ruined — the lives of victims, and the lives of the accused,” Davidson said. “That is insulting to survivors of sexual violence to make that equivalence.”
So basically, DeVos wants to address rampant rape culture by providing more protections for the perpetrators of sexual assault.
*Signs out of life.*
Meanwhile, in Australia: