Our National Women's Officer visited LA recently to attend the Title IX bootcamp course, tackling sexual assault on campus.
CN: Sexual assault and violence
At NUS we are asking students’ unions to complete this consultation and share ideas for better systems and proposals for guidelines so that we can create a national view of what change SU's want to see across the UK. The consultation closes on 13 May.
So for now I’m going to tell you all about what I learnt when I travelled to America to attend a Title IX Boot camp by the organisation Know your Title IX. A survivor and youth-led organization that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their educational communities. If you haven’t been following the #StandByMe campaign here is a video that we created about our campaign to improve survivor support and why we are against the Zellick Guidelines which you can read our briefing on here. Recently Universities UK agreed that these guidelines should be reviewed as part of the outcomes of their Government taskforce. In the US there have a completely different policy in place which is called Title IX.
What is Title IX?
1. Title IX is a landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education.
2. Title IX does not apply to female students only.
3. Your school must be proactive in ensuring that your campus is free of sex discrimination.
4. Your school must have an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence.
5. Your school must take immediate action to ensure a victim can continue their education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence.
6. Your school may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint and must keep a victim safe from other retaliatory harassment or behavior
7. Your school can issue a no contact directive under Title IX to prevent the accused student from approaching or interacting with you.
8. In cases of sexual violence, your college is prohibited from encouraging or allowing mediation (rather than a formal hearing) of the complaint. The 2011
9. Your college should not make you pay the costs of certain accommodations that you require in order to continue your education after experiencing violence.
The Title IX coordinator is the responsible employee of the recipient with major responsibility for Title IX compliance efforts. The Title IX coordinators responsibilities are critical to the development, implementation, and monitoring of meaningful efforts to comply with Title IX. Therefore, federal funding agencies must inform their recipients of the following obligations under the Title IX regulations
In the UK we are seeing more and more universities employing ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) which are the most comparable thing to a Title 9 co-ordinator. ISVA are often based in Rape crisis centres and SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centre). A SARC is a special facility where recent victims of rape or sexual assault can receive immediate help and support.
An ISVA is trained to look after your needs and help survivors to understand how the criminal justice process works and the importance of forensic DNA retrieval. They are there to provide you with information only to help you make the right decision for you. By contacting them, survivors are not expected to report any offence to the police. For more information please visit: http://thesurvivorstrust.org/isva/
As I explain in the video there are still some complications around these kind of roles in America and I personally believe that there should be a specific kind of ISVA role in all institutions. But we want to know what you think! So please fill in our consultation and tell us today.