Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos plans to strengthen Title IX protections by classifying domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as forms of gender discrimination under federal law. This could further protections for sexual misconduct on school campuses, which could risk federal investigation and a loss of funding if found in violation of these new protocols.
This act comes as a pleasant surprise to Title IX advocates, who have been critical of the previous Title IX rollbacks. The new rules have been received positively by the many families affected by dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking—referred to collectively as “intimate partner violence”—who have been advocating heavily for tighter regulations.
Before these new regulations, there was no specific acknowledgment of these cases of intimate partner violence. Though some schools have been proactive in these areas, most did not provide training programs or establish any protocol for these types of Title IX violations.
For decades, intimate partner violence has been viewed as an interpersonal issue. By introducing these protections, Secretary DeVos is acknowledging these issues to be a pervasive form of violence that has a notable impact on education.
The implementation of these new regulations is a reaction to cases of sexual misconduct in elementary and secondary schools, which have increased nationwide in recent years. The definition of sexual harassment in these schools in prior years was found to be so narrow that it did not allow Title IX complaints to be made, with the exception of behavior regarded as “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s educational program or facility”. As a result of this finding, victims of intimate partner violence will now have specific civil rights that help protect their safety on campus.
Now more than ever, the law protects Title IX victims nationwide. However, it is still beneficial to have an experienced lawyer by your side when approaching an intimate partner violence case because, despite stronger laws being enacted, many institutions are still violating Title IX statutes. When you have the help of a skilled Title IX attorney, tackling a sensitive case of sexual misconduct could be made easier and more manageable when holding these institutions accountable.
Contact Goldstein & Bashner today to discuss how we could assist you with your case. With years of experience and resources, our team of knowledgeable lawyers could help you or a loved one to get the justice you deserve.