The Feminist Majority Foundation strongly condemns the new Title IX proposed rules released this morning by Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education.

Statement by Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation:

“These new proposed Title IX rules are beyond outrageous and are offensive to every survivor who has only ever asked for an education free from sexual violence and harassment.

We know that sexual assault is rampant in our education institutions. One-in-five women and one-in-sixteen men will be sexually assaulted while in college. We also know that the Trump Administration has done everything possible to silence survivors and elevate accused sexual predators. Colleges, universities, and K-12 institutions have a responsibility to hold themselves to a higher moral standard than what Trump-DeVos would require.

These proposed rules appear to be designed to weaken Title IX so as to discourage survivors from reporting, punish them when they do, and allow schools to avoid accountability for failing to protect students from a hostile environment. It is shameful that the Department of Education would undermine its duty to student survivors across the country by deferring to powerful university administrations, fraternities, athletic clubs, men’s rights groups and others peddling in rape myths and misogyny.

The Administration has officially turned their backs on the students who have led the charge to make their campuses and classrooms more safe and equitable. The fact is, these new rules will cause real harm to students, allow perpetrators to escape responsibility, create dangerous environments that are impossible for survivors to learn in, and push some survivors out of school altogether. These rules will place a disproportionate burden on students who have traditionally been the most vulnerable to violence and harassment, including women, students of color and LGBTQ students.”

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Contact: media@feminist.org