Accusing U. Campus Press Release Sexual Assault

PR: Accusing U. Campaign Targets Dept. of Education Sex Directive

Contact: Teri Stoddard

Accusing U. Campaign Targets Dept. of Education Sex Directive

Washington, DC/February 17, 2012 – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is set to launch Accusing U., a national campaign designed to educate college students about the Department of Education’s new Sexual Assault Directive. SAVE says the Directive subverts fundamental due process rights on college campuses.

The Accusing U. campaign will be unveiled at a panel presentation to be held Saturday, February 18 at 10:00am at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC. The panel will highlight DED’s alleged anti-civil rights agenda, which affects students and professors alike.

The American Association of University Professors, National Association of Scholars, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have all come out against the Directive (1). Over 30 editorials have criticized the mandate on civil rights grounds (2).

The erosion of civil rights of persons accused of sexual assault was highlighted in a recent Yale University case. Yale quarterback Patrick Witt, a promising candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship, saw his application blow up when The New York Times revealed he had been accused on scant evidence of sexual assault.

Because of the DED Directive, which removes the presumption of innocence, Witt was treated like a proven rapist. SAVE believes, as soon as an accusation was made, Yale felt compelled to consider him an offender.

The Education Department’s Directive requires universities to use the 51% preponderance-of-evidence standard in sexual assault claims, instead of the traditional clear-and-convincing basis to establish guilt. In the case of Patrick Witt, a single New York Times article had the effect of convicting him in the court of public opinion, according to a Wall Street Journal critique (3).

The DED has expanded the definition of rape to the point that if a woman drinks a single beer – even at her initiative – and then engages in sex, the Directive classifies the liaison as rape.

“The DED sex mandate is opening the floodgates to a tide wave of false allegations of rape. So what will happen to the credibility of real rape victims? Will they stop coming forward?” … asks SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook.

More information about the Accusing U. campaign can be seen here:

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence:


Domestic Violence Press Release Victims Violence Violence Against Women Act

PR: NY Times Anti-Violence Editorial Shortchanges Victims, SAVE Says


Contact: Teri Stoddard,


NY Times Anti-Violence Editorial Shortchanges Victims, SAVE Says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — A recent New York Times editorial on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act offers its readers a superficial and misinformed perspective on a bill currently being considered in the Senate (1). The controversy centers on the lack of effectiveness of many of its provisions, according to Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.

Sen. Leahy’s VAWA proposal, S. 1925, recently was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 party line vote.

Domestic violence is caused by a range of emotional and social factors such as substance abuse, depression, and marital instability, according to the Centers for Disease Control (2). It follows that the key to solving partner violence would consist of alcohol treatment, therapy, and partner counseling.

But Sen. Leahy’s VAWA bill ignores the role of these factors. Instead, VAWA funds the use of restraining orders, mandatory arrest, and prosecution of cases. Such law enforcement measures are ineffective, and in the case of mandatory arrest, place victims at greater homicide risk (3).

Angela Moore Parmley, PhD of the Department of Justice has acknowledged, “We have no evidence to date that VAWA has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.” (4) Concerned Women for America notes that VAWA’s elastic definitions of abuse “actually squander the resources for victims of actual violence by failing to properly prioritize and assess victims.” (5)

To address these shortcomings, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments has developed the Partner Violence Reduction Act, which amends and strengthens the current Violence Against Women Act (6).

“The New York Times editorial calls on Republican lawmakers to ‘explain to voters why they refuse to get behind the federal fight against domestic violence and sexual assaults.’ But victims of domestic violence are demanding that Times editorialists go beyond partisan posturing, and ask why so many VAWA programs aren’t meeting basic expectations of accountability and effectiveness,” according to SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner abuse:

  4. Violence Against Women, Vol. 10, No. 12, 2004, p. 1424.