College’s Failure to Rightfully Uphold Its Sexual Assault Policy Results in Student Victim Attempting to Take Own Life

Sexual Assault at Bard CollegeIf you’re reading this, you’ve already taken an important step toward fighting back against an epidemic of sexual violence toward women on college campuses. There are robust federal and state laws that provide legal recourse for female students who have been sexually assaulted or raped. Title IX of the 1973 Education Amendments requires schools receiving federal funding to combat gender discrimination in education. That includes rooting out and preventing sexual assaults and rapes of female students. Victims can file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights. The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the incident or, if the student first files a grievance with the university, within 60 days of the grievance process’s conclusion.

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The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires both public and private colleges and universities participating in federal student aid programs to disclose campus safety information, and imposes certain basic requirements for handling incidents of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. Students can file complaints with the Department of Education asking the agency to investigate their schools for violations, resulting in possible sanctions and substantial campus change.


“Our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grand-mothers have every single right to expect to be free from violence and sexual abuse,’ Mr. Biden said. ‘No matter what she’s wearing, no matter whether she’s in a bar, in a dormitory, in the back seat of a car, on a street, drunk or sober—no man has a right to go beyond the word ‘no.’ And if she can’t consent, it also means no.’ He added, ‘Men have to take more responsibility; men have to intervene . . . The measure of manhood is willingness to speak up and speak out, and begin to change the culture. ” by Vice President Biden

Universities can also be liable under North Carolina law for negligently retaining male students who go on to assault female students. The perpetrator can also be individually liable for battery and infliction of emotional distress. You don’t need to file criminal charges against your attacker to pursue civil claims against him or the university.

Van Kampen Law offers free confidential consultations for women who believe they have been the victim of sexual assault or rape at college.

Learn more: http://knowyourix.org/why-schools-handle-sexual-violence-reports/

Carolyn Kissel

Carolyn Kissel is a Law Clerk at Van Kampen Law. She is currently attending Charlotte School of Law, and will graduate in May 2016. She is an active member of the Charlotte Law Ambassador Program, Animal Law Society and is the current Secretary for the Women in Law Society. Carolyn received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a dual minor in English and Psychology from Susquehanna University. She was an member of their Pre-Law Society and the Leadership and Success Society.