PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Chris Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: cperry@saveservices.org

Rasmussen Poll Shows Most Americans Support DeVos Statement: SAVE Calls on California Lawmakers to Postpone Consideration of SB-169

WASHINGTON / September 20, 2017 – A new Rasmussen poll has found that 73% of Americans agree with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s statement that “Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.” DeVos made the statement during a recent major policy address.

DeVos also reported that the Department of Education will develop a new campus sexual assault policy designed to protect the rights and protections of both identified victims and accused students.

In response, the editorial boards of 13 newspapers have called for major reforms to the current campus-based approach for handling allegations of sexual assault. The newspapers include the Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today, and others (1).

The San Bernardino Sun editorial board also endorsed DeVos proposal, explaining, “Sexual assault is a serious crime. It should be dealt with by police and the legal system, not a kangaroo hearing operated by college administrators.” (2) The Orange County Register similarly noted, “But the government, and universities under its direction, have gone too far, and, as a result, threatened and violated the rights of the innocent.” (3)

A 2016 survey of 400 California voters found a strong majority favored involvement of the criminal justice system in campus cases (4).  Asked, “Once the investigation is completed, who should make the determination of innocence or guilt?”, 89% favored the criminal justice system, and only 11% favored the current campus disciplinary committees.

Based on the results of the Rasmussen poll, the recommendations of numerous editorial boards, and the survey of California voters, SAVE is now urging California legislators to postpone consideration of SB-169 until the current concerns can be debated and resolved (5).

The Rasmussen survey of 1,000 American adults was conducted on September 10-11, 2017 (6).

Citations:

  1. http://www.saveservices.org/2017/09/leading-editorial-boards-endorse-reforms-of-campus-sex-policies/
  2. http://www.sbsun.com/2017/09/14/campus-sexual-assault-policies-need-revision/
  3. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/14/campus-sexual-assault-policies-need-revision/
  4. http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/opinion-polls/
  5. http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/CA-SB.169-Testimony-.pdf
  6. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/social_issues/most_americans_agree_with_devos_on_sexual_misconduct_on_campuses#sthash.tqCjJV6m.gbpl

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for practical and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org