Latest News & Current Events
Time to Act - 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted in college
Back in February a conference on Sexual Assault On Campus, hosted by the University of Virginia was filled to capacity by college presidents and others. The White House formed a task force, in response to the widespread dissatisfaction with the way college campuses handle cases of sexual assault.
This week the White House released new guidelines to help victims of that violence and improve the way schools handle such cases. Campus sexual assaults are notoriously underreported, and schools' disciplinary processes vary widely.
The suggestions provide colleges with basic guidelines for dealing with sexual assault cases; it also sets up a national reporting system that asks schools to survey their students about their experiences.
The report is titled "Not Alone," which is also the name of a new website the administration created as a resource for schools and the victims of sexual assault. Its work reflects contributions from several federal agencies, including the Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services.
Here are some highlights from the report:
The federal government sent a further message that it's taking sexual harassment on college campuses seriously. Education officials released the names of 55 schools facing investigation for their handling of sexual abuse allegations.
Colleges find themselves increasingly pressed to act as pseudo-courts. Schools have been under fire for discounting complaints, mismanaging cases and meting out punishments that look more like slaps on the wrist. By all accounts, there's plenty of room for improvement.
Still, college discipline procedures can make certain allowances that courts cannot, and school panels can step in when an alleged victim is wary of going to court.
In many ways, colleges have less power than law enforcement. They can't subpoena evidence or witnesses, for example.
In other ways, colleges have a lot more leeway. For example, while prosecutors routinely drop criminal cases that would be hard to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt," campuses have a lower bar. They need only a "preponderance of the evidence," which means that an offense was more likely than not to have occurred.
Also, in the courts, the onus is on the accuser to prove a crime, but campuses can put the burden on the accused to prove they actually had sexual consent.
Adjudicating rape cases — and ensuring a safe learning environment — is absolutely within the purview of colleges. Colleges used to fear getting sued for expelling a student for sexual assault. Now, they also worry about getting sued if they don't.
Be the first to add your comments
Comment on this article
Login to submit a comment
What we offer
GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:
- 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
- 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
- 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
- 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”