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Ten Things Survivors Should Know About the Title IX Rollback

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There are some important things that survivors should know about the Title IX rollback.

Sexual violence advocates, survivors, and allies are reacting strongly to the rollback of Title IX guidelines by the Trump administration. There are a few things we think survivors should know.


What Just Happened

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos warned that she would not protect the Obama-era guidelines that helped schools establish systems and policies for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct. As early as January, during her confirmation hearings, DeVos said she would not commit to protecting those guidelines.

She made good on her remarks and replaced two letters of guidance from 2011 and 2014 with an interim Q&A on September 22.


There Were Problems With Title IX Before the Rollback

The idea that universities should prosecute sexual misconduct on campus as Title IX violations was originally supposed to be a supplement to the criminal justice system. Students can report to both their school and the police, but it is also an option to report just the crime (to the police) or the civil rights violation (to the school). For some survivors, turning to the criminal justice system is not a feasible option. Schools are required to take all the necessary steps to protect and support survivors, but the criminal courts often don't do the same.</p

DeVos has implied that a central problem with the Obama administration's guidelines is that the accused are unjustly punished, but more commonly it is the victim who is silenced and unfairly treated.

Since the Obama-era guidelines, universities and colleges had to have regulations in place on how to handle these situations, but they could determine the policies themselves. The guidelines for determining fault were subject to the whims of the university which, in some cases, has turned this process into a quasi-court. It's easy to understand how self-governed policies could fail survivors when set in the context of a culture that is rife with victim-blaming, rape apologists, and a stunted understanding of mental health and trauma.

Fact Sheets

Emergency Contacts

Domestic Violence

In an emergency call 911
Find more resources here

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

200 languages (USA based)
TTY 1-800-787-3224
Online chat


1-866-879-6636 (USWOMEN)

International toll-free

Suicide Prevention

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1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

Connect with a local crisis center (USA based)
TTY 1-800-799-4889
Online chat


Virtual crisis center


Listings of suicide hotlines worldwide
Wiki listing

Young People

In an emergency call 911
Find more resources here


Help with dating abuse for teens (USA based)
Online chat
Text “LOVEIS” to 22522

1-800-422-4453 (4-A-Child)

Child abuse hotline (USA based)


LGBTQ youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention
Online chat
Text “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200

Crisis Support

In an emergency call 911
Find more resources here

Crisis Text Line

24/7 support
Text: “HOME” to 741741


Crisis call center (USA based)
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863

Article original 28 September 2017
Page published  24 October 2017
By Kristance Harlow

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