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Title IX: What It Is and How It Can Help Women Who Have Been Victims of Sexual Assault

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Title IX is a gender discrimination statute signed into law in 1972. It is designed to protect students who are victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault while attending school. Unfortunately, many women do not know about Title IX or its protections. Our West Virginia sexual harassment attorneys want to help spread the word about this important law and how it can help women victims of sexual assault on college campuses.

What is Title IX?

Title IX requires institutions to protect all students, faculty, and staff from sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. If the administration is aware of an incident, colleges must immediately address the issue. The law was enacted to stop male-dominated academic disciplines from excluding or discriminating against women.

Title IX and Sexual Assault on Campus

Despite the Obama administration's 2011 guidance reinforcing Title IX's protections against sexual harassment and assault, sexual violence remains a significant issue on college campuses. In 2019, 13% of college students reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact, according to a study by the Association of American Universities (AAU).

That number was significantly higher for transgender and nonbinary students. One in four transgender students has experienced sexual assault since enrolling in college, according to a survey created by the AAU.

What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted on Campus

If you are a victim of sexual assault on campus, you should report the incident to your school's Title IX coordinator. The coordinator will then launch an investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the school will decide whether or not there is enough evidence to find the accused student responsible for sexual assault.

If the student is found responsible, they may be subject to disciplinary action from the school, including expulsion. The school may also take steps to protect you from further sexual violence, such as ordering the accused student to stay away from you or changing your class schedule.

In addition to disciplinary action from the school, the accused student may also face criminal charges. You should speak with a sexual assault survivor attorney to discuss your legal options and whether or not you want to pursue criminal charges against the accused student.

Bailess Law Firm PLLC Is Here to Help

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault while in college, know that you are not alone. And, more importantly, know that you have rights. Contact our experienced sexual harassment attorneys to learn more about your options and how to protect yourself moving forward.

Contact us today at (304) 841-0037 or through our online contact form.