Betsy DeVos consults MRA groups about campus sexual assault laws


Even people who criticize how campuses handle sexual assault and treat accused students questioned Ms. Jackson's claim. While there has been an ongoing debate for years about proper protections for due process in the context of stronger enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, some of those groups are deemed by critics to be "men's rights organizations", promoting a harmful narrative about false rape claims.

Among them were survivors of sexual violence, people who say they were falsely accused and disciplined, and representatives of colleges and universities.

The Education Department's civil rights chief has said she's sorry for making "flippant" remarks about "false" sexual assault claims on campus. Davidson said she's also concerned by Jackson labeling the women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment and assault as "fake victims".

Even as DeVos meets with a handful of sexual assault victims today, dissatisfied advocates are planning a rally outside the Department of Education Thursday because they don't believe the voices of assault survivors are getting the time or weight they deserve.

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But, as they continue, that "hope may have been premature", as DeVos has repeatedly refused to commit to upholding the kind of Title IX protections for survivors that Obama's administration advocated.

Know Your Title IX, a survivors' right group, along with the National Women's Law Center, and Ultraviolet are organizing a Survivor Speak Out at the Department of Education Thursday morning, the day DeVos is set to meet.

"Every allegation of sexual violence should be taken seriously, and it's important to investigate them", Jodi Omear, vice president of communications at Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), said in a statement to the Daily News.

DeVos is meeting with the groups to discuss Title IX and the impact of its sexual assault guidance. Among the staggeringly risky misogynist ideas on SAVE's website in a section titled "Ten Myths of Campus Sexual Assault", including "rape hoax", "rape culture hysteria", and a dismantling of the positive effects of "affirmative consent". The new directives eased requirements that investigators review past information to identify potential systemic problems and that regional offices alert department officials in Washington to complaints about sensitive issues, including mishandling of sexual assault cases. But, of course, there is one thing "men's rights" activists are right about: Campus sexual assault investigations are, indeed, often rooted in inequality.

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"The accusations - 90 percent of them - fall into the category of 'we were both drunk, ' 'we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right, '" Jackson told the Times.

According to a 2015 survey by the Association of American Universities, one in four female students at leading universities have been sexually assaulted by force or while incapacitated in college.

Jackson's apology comes as U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos is scheduled to meet with survivors of sexual violence and those who say they have been falsely accused, during a series of listening sessions meant to discuss the impact of the department's Title IX enforcement.

"When you look at the amount of students who are going to be assaulted in college versus the amount of students who are going to be wrongfully accused, significantly more students fall into the first category", she said.

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