NPR: Trump Administration Defends Campus Sexual Assault Rules
“The message that is sent is that the administration believes that women who report sexual harassment and violence are liars,” says Jennifer Reisch, legal director of Equal Rights Advocates, one of three groups that brought the lawsuit. She spoke to reporters Thursday after a hearing on the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The prior administration also used to require schools to protect alleged victims during investigations; now that is at schools’ discretion. And the old norm of making the accused student stay away from the accuser is now considered unfair. Schools are supposed to be evenhanded — prompting some to rely on “no-contact” orders that apply to both students. But Reisch argues that putting the onus on alleged victims unfairly punishes them by restricting where they can go and live.
“It is sending a message that you come forward at your peril,” she says.
This lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Equal Rights Advocates, SurvJustice, and Victim Rights Law Center by three national public interest organizations—Democracy Forward, the National Center for Youth Law, and the National Women’s Law Center.
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