This article originally appears in the NY Daily News. You can read it in its entirety here.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has made changes in Title IX that are designed, in the words of her office, “to restore due process” to the way colleges handle sexual misconduct and assault cases. Far from achieving that goal, however, DeVos’s revisions tip the scales in such cases against traumatized victims and in favor of the accused. Her effort to create a level playing field will have the opposite effect.
I say this as a woman who was raped nearly 40 years ago and who has devoted her life since then both to helping women who have been assaulted and to establishing programs in schools and colleges that help reduce sexual assaults, bullying and hazing.
I know in a deeply personal way how horribly life-changing it is to be the victim of a sexual attack. How it fills you with fears that can become overwhelming. How some details of the attack are forever locked in your memory while other can become confused and uncertain. How the shock and pain never fully leave you.
I know all this from my own experience, and I know it from the conversations I’ve had with scores of young women who have suffered through their own nightmares. Every case is different in its specifics, but all of them inflict the same enduring emotional scars …