More than two years after announcing her intention to rescind Obama-era Title IX guidelines addressing sexual misconduct in education, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos completed the process by issuing her own set of final regulations earlier this month . While critics have raised concerns that these new regulations will make it harder for survivors to receive justice, Secretary DeVos and her allies argue that the new rules will correct Obama-era overreach and ensure due process for those accused of sexual misconduct. The ensuing conversation, however, has largely ignored a critical question: What are we doing to stop sexual violence from happening in the first place?
For more than five decades, research has consistently shown epidemic levels of sexual violence on college campuses in America. As far back as the 1950s, Clifford Kirpatrick and Eugene Kanin interviewed 291 female college students, and found that 20 percent had experienced “forceful attempts at intercourse.” As pioneering researchers including Mary Koss conducted larger-scale scientific investigations into the prevalence rates of campus sexual violence in the 1970s and 1980s, the results became increasingly impossible to ignore. By 1995, the American Medical Assocation declared sexual assault a “silent violent epidemic” across the United States, calling for an […]
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