There’s no denying that Trump’s objectification of women have left women and young girls feeling uneasy and disrespected. Many women, especially survivors of sexual assault, have little to no faith that their rights will be protected…or that the current president even cares about their rights at all. During Trump’s campaign season, rape crisis centers even saw a spike in calls and services. And a poll conducted during his campaign concluded that nearly half of teenage girls said Trump’s disparaging remarks have had a negative effect on the way they view their bodies. And for young women attending college, their concerns have only increased because it’s unclear how Congress and Trump’s administration could potentially affect Title IX and sexual assault victims for the next for years.
More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Some major points include:
- The prohibition of sex discrimination in schools. It protects pregnant and parenting students, women in STEM, sexual violence, etc. Sexual violence is defined as Sexual violence includes attempted or completed rape or sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence.
- Any person from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression.
- Schools must take immediate steps to address any sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence on campus to prevent it from affecting students further. Schools may not discourage survivors from continuing their education, such as telling them to “take time off” or forcing them to quit a team, club or class.
- Every school must have a Title IX Coordinator who manages complaints. The Coordinator’s contact information should be publicly accessible on the school’s website and there should be an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence.
The Obama Administration intensified focus on campus sexual assault and Title IX prompted an outpouring of complaints and lawsuits against colleges and universities over claims they mishandled reports of sexual violence. In 2014, the administration made public the list of colleges currently under investigation. There are 216 open investigations that will now be handled by Trump’s administration.
College women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed.
It’s unclear what Trump will do since he remained silent on the issue throughout his campaign. But the Republican party has criticized Obama for interpreting Title IX too broadly. The RNC further stated, “sexual assault is a “terrible crime,” but cases should be “investigated by civil authorities and prosecuted in a courtroom, not a faculty lounge.” Leaders from other organizations expressed similar concerns saying, “leaving these cases to the schools to adjudicate could violate a student’s right to due process.”
It’s believed that Trump’s administration will cut the budget for crisis hotlines, shelters, rape-kit testing, courts, law enforcement, rape crisis centers, and community outreach through the Violence Against Women Act, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and the Victims of Crime Act. However, Republicans introduced their own legislation, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which aims to improve how public colleges and universities handle sexual assault and other violent crimes. It will require colleges to publish their crime stats on their websites, participate in a campus climate surveys, make confidential advisers available to students, and work closely with local police departments.
86% of sworn campus law enforcement officials have legal authority to make an arrest outside of the campus grounds.
Most of America believe the women who came forward with sex abuse allegations against President Trump. They watched as his misogynistic behavior and comments were leaked to the media. And they were shocked and dismayed when he unapologetically defended that behavior.
So, for the next four years, America will be led by a man who encourages “locker room” talk and believes women who can’t tolerate it shouldn’t be in the workforce. While his culture has negatively impacted the women of this country, I wonder whether the men will embrace it or take a stand to reject it.
[Read original article What “President Trump” Means for Sexual Assault Survivors.]