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Sep 18

Title IX and Survivors On Campuses

There’s been much debate on Betsy DeVos’ new statements about needing to “reform Title IX” in universities across the United States. It is no secret that DeVos primarily met with only the “accused” (cough rapists cough) instead of listening to survivors and their experiences. DeVos came forward and made statements that the “accused” are not being “treated fairly” and that they are being “excluded from educational opportunity”.

For many survivors and myself, this information was not only devastating to hear from the Secretary of Education, but also from a mother, woman, and human being. What DeVos forgot to mention and consider was the lack of fairness when the survivor has their body violated…the many, many survivors that have to drop out of college because their rape is too traumatic, too emotional and they are unable to continue with classes. Where is their fairness? Where is there educational opportunity?

Now to be accurate, there are universities that are not handling Title IX processes correctly and those universities are currently able to be investigated for neglecting and failing to protect survivors. If Title IX is taken away, universities are left to make decisions without the consequences they face now.

I went through the Title IX process in my school and I am so very thankful that I did. My college protected me in more ways than I thought possible. Through the Title IX process, I was given free counseling services, a confidential advocate to work next to me and assist me in continuing in my classes and communicating with professors. My professors provided food from a food pantry, because I could not afford basic needs due to losing my job after the assault. I was offered housing when I lost my apartment. I worked one on one with professors to make sure I had extra time to complete assignments and would excuse absences related to my criminal or civil case against my rapist. After the Title IX hearing, my rapist was found responsible for rape and physical assault. He was banned from campus property, a no contact order was placed to protect me, and he was suspended from the university. From there, I was able to get a protective order in the courts to make sure I had more protections against him.

It is so discouraging to hear that a person of power is looking to destroy this process and prevent survivors from having protection on their campus to continue their education. Many news outlets want to portray only the universities that are not following the Title IX regulations and ignoring the positive experiences and universities that are following protocol.

If you are a survivor on campus, please do not be discouraged from coming forward to the Title IX department in your university. It can make such an amazing impact on your life and can help you in more ways than you think possible. Please do not feel intimidated by the media that clearly has an agenda of making the process seem flawed or unhelpful, because it can save your education and maybe even your life.

It is imperative that Title IX remains to protect every survivor. No survivor should have to drop out of college out of fear of running into their perpetrator. Victim’s rights should come before a criminals rights and every survivor deserves to be safe.

About the author

Samantha McCoy

My name is Samantha and I am a survivor of rape.

I went through the worst experience of my life and it took many, many things from me. It took my happiness for over a year, I lost my salaried job, I lost my apartment, I wasn’t able to attend classes regularly, I didn’t want to leave bed… everything reminded me of what happened and I feared running into him or his friends.

Although he took so much from me and two years of my life are gone that were wasted on trying to heal from the damages, he did not take my voice. I now dedicate my time to educating others on sexual assault and being a voice for the survivors who cannot speak out on their experience.

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/title-ix-and-survivors-on-campuses/