Duke Eliminates Statue of Limitations on Student Sexual Misconduct
This week, Duke University eliminated the school's statute of limitations (SOL) on student sexual misconduct reporting. Strong protests from students initiated the removal of the previous one-year SOL restriction. Under the new policy, a student now can file a sexual misconduct report up until they graduate.
Outcry from the student body came after negotiations between the university and the Department of Education in 2011 resulted in a lowering of the SOL from two years to one year in January. In an effort to comply with what school officials believed were guidelines of the Office of Civil Rights, the university lowered the general student body's SOL to match the one year SOL for employees. School officials announced this week that they "misinterpreted" the Office of Civil Rights conditions.
Junior Stefani Jones, Duke Student Government vice president for equity and outreach and leader of the student task force for reviewing the policy, said, "I couldn't be happier that we saw such a groundswell of support from the Duke community and that the administration was receptive to our proposal and our concerns. When you have so many students rallying around an issue, it becomes hard to ignore."
This news comes nearly a year after the American Association of University Women, a member organization of HERvotes, released a historic report on the high levels of sexual harassment in our nation's schools.
Media Resources: Duke Chronicle 10/07/12; Inside Higher Ed 10/09/12; Feminist Newsire 11/15/11; AAUW Research 11/15/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .