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Campus Office for Civil Rights Sexual Assault

PR: Six-Year Experiment in Campus Sex Jurisprudence Found to Be a Failure: Report

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Contact: Chris Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608



Six-Year Experiment in Campus Sex Jurisprudence Found to Be a Failure: Report

WASHINGTON / April 4, 2017 – The current system of campus-based adjudications for sexual assault has turned out to be inefficient, unfair, and in some cases harmful, according to a report released today by the non-profit group, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments. The report, “Six-Year Experiment in Campus Jurisprudence Fails to Make the Grade,” is being issued on the six-year anniversary of the controversial “Dear Colleague Letter” on sexual violence, first issued by the Department of Education on April 4, 2011.

The SAVE report identifies numerous cases in which identified victims of sexual assault claimed their colleges failed to appropriately investigate, adjudicate, and sanction their complaints. In one case, a female student charged that campus police at Old Dominion University detained her for eight hours, preventing her from seeking medical attention for the assault. In January, she filed a lawsuit against the university, requesting $75,000 in damages.

Many of these women’s cases have been reported to the federal Office for Civil Rights. The number of complaints has risen dramatically since 2013, leading to a growing backlog of investigations.

Male students have been wrongfully expelled based on false allegations of sexual assault, as well. Among the 51 lawsuits filed by accused students since 2012, a majority of judges have ruled at least partly in favor of the expelled student.

Some of the judges issued strongly worded critiques of the campus “Kangaroo Courts.” In one recent case, a judge ruled that the process at San Diego State University for adjudicating a sexual assault accusation was so biased that it was “enough to shock the Court’s conscience.”

Campus administrators have felt caught between shifting federal requirements and the reality of campus committees that lack the training, expertise, and resources to reliably adjudicate complex rape cases. Some colleges have spent millions of dollars in a sisyphean effort to comply with the federal requirements.

SAVE calls on the Department of Education to repeal its 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, which mandated that campus tribunals investigate and resolve rape allegations. Instead, SAVE urges the enactment of the Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act. CEFTA encourages the referral of campus rape cases to law enforcement officials and promotes due process:

The SAVE report can be viewed here:

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for fair and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: