College Campuses Not Meeting Requirements to Report Sexual Assault
A new report released this week on sexual assault on college campuses found that many US colleges and universities routinely fail to uphold established legal obligations to survivors of sexual assault. The report examined archival evidence from the past 10 years and found that the omissions of higher educational institutions ultimately are barriers that insulate perpetrators of sexual assault from prosecution and punishment.
The report found that College Campuses regularly flout their legal obligations under Title IX and the Clery Act. Title IX, the revolutionary federal law that outlaws sex-discrimination in education, was originally passed in 1972, and reads: "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." The report found various cases of School administrators and school police ignoring victims' reports of sexual assault instead of initiating investigations, in violation of Title IX.
The Clery Act, requires that four-year higher educational institutions where federal financial aid is available to students, collect, preserve, and disclose crime information when the incidents occur on or near campus. In violation of the Clery Act, one section of the report found that many colleges report no incidents of rape despite contradicting reports from associated victim response groups. Additionally, 77 percent of four-year colleges and universities reported no incidents of sexual assault or harassment in 2006. This figure conflicts with federal estimates that, during college, 1 in 5 women will become a victim of attempted rape or rape. However, it is also estimated that 95 percent of rape cases will not be reported.
Media Resources: Center for Public Integrity 12/1/09, 12/2/09, 12/3/09; Center for Public Integrity Clery Act Fact Sheet; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/20/09
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. . . .