WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A series of sexual-assault cases on college campuses have spurred a backlash from accused male students who are now using anti-gender discrimination laws under Title IX to make their case that such accusations are biased against men.
A Bloomberg report finds a chain of male college students who have been disciplined through campus sexual assault investigations, and are now filing discrimination cases against universities across the country.
Title IX is a 1972 education amendment that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” Title IX states.
In the last two years, men disciplined or expelled for sexual assault reasons have filed their own discrimination cases against Xavier University, Vassar College, Williams College, Bucknell University, St. Joseph’s University, and College of the Holy Cross among others.
Nicole Colby Longton, an attorney who sued Holy Cross on behalf of a male student accused of sexual assault stated that the increasing risk of such accusations is combined with a biased school-run justice system.
“One sexual encounter that involves alcohol, and the next thing you know you’re accused and expelled and branded for life,” Colby told Bloomberg. “Schools are going to push kids to have signed waivers before they have intercourse.”
The report cites a “parallel criminal-justice system run by school officials without legal training in which evidence and the burden of proof are scant and punishments harsh,” Robert Shibley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told Bloomberg.
The most recent national data from the Education Department showed that sexual assault reports increased by 30 percent from 2009-11 – a total of 3,771 in 2011. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that there is an average of 237,868 victims of rape and sexual assault each year – an average of someone being sexually assaulted every two minutes. Eighty percent of victims are under the age of thirty.
There have been an increasing number of assault victims filing complaints against their universities in the past year, with the Education Department receiving 30 Title IX grievances alleging schools’ inability to prevent sexual assaults.
The RAINN data shows that about 10 percent of sexual assault, abuse and rape victims in the US are male.
However, the RAINN report cautions that 60 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to authorities.
According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 19 percent of undergraduate women experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.
The Bloomberg report also cites the Obama administration “Dear Colleague Letter,” which pressured and reinforced that schools would be violating Title IX by not actively pursuing sexual assault claims on campuses.