Student Survivors Condemn Betsy Devos and Trump Administration’s New Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Know Your IX, a project of Advocates for Youth and the leading survivor-led and youth-led campaign to end sexual violence in schools released the following statement on the DeVos’ Title IX rule taking effect today:

One in four college women are sexually assaulted during their time on campus. This pervasive violence not only puts young people’s safety at risk but also erodes their access to education: survivors often see their grades drop, take long leaves of absence from school to avoid their attacker, or are forced to drop out entirely. Yet, today, the Department of Education’s final rule on Title IX will take effect––rolling back years of survivor organizing wins that have protected survivors’ access to education. This is no surprise, as an article released by the Nation earlier today showed, Betsy DeVos and her Department of Education took cues directly from funders and advocates for accused students when drafting the rule.

This rule with deter survivors from reporting, allow schools to sweep sexual violence under the rug with impunity, and stacks the deck against survivors who try and seek support from their school following violence.

Sage Carson, Manager at Know Your IX, a survivor- and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth working to end sexual violence in schools, commented:

“Betsy DeVos’ Title IX rule, which goes into effect today, rolls back the clock on civil rights for student survivors across the country. This rule stacks the deck against survivors in order to let institutions off the hook for sweeping sexual violence under the rug and to put power back into the hands of respondents, furthering the pushout of survivors from their educations.

Amidst a global pandemic, students need their schools on their side — but DeVos and the Department of Education are hellbent on turning their backs on survivors. In fact, as an article in the Nation revealed earlier today, the Department’s Title IX rule takes a page right out of fringe men’s rights advocates’ playbooks. It’s no wonder that the rule favors respondents when the Department that authored it took cues directly from funders and advocates for accused students, while refusing to meet with student survivors and their advocates. While the fight for survivors’ access to education today becomes ten times harder, survivors have built a powerful movement fighting for our civil rights for years, and we are not stopping now.

Today, Know Your IX is taking the fight for survivors’ rights to the state level. Our survivor and youth-led movement is launching a network of survivors from across the country who will be supported in organizing and demanding robust policy change at the state and local levels. We’re not going to let DeVos, institutions, or men’s rights advocates stop us from achieving a world where everyone can go to school without fear of violence.”