DeVos Reportedly Set to Unveil 'Horrific' New Campus Sexual Assault Rules 'to Bolster Rights of Accused'

Home / DeVos Reportedly Set to Unveil 'Horrific' New Campus Sexual Assault Rules 'to Bolster Rights of Accused'

After meeting with “men’s rights” groups and scrapping an Obama-era guidance for how colleges and universities should handle sexual harassment and assault allegations last year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reportedly set to release new rules that will “bolster the due process rights of the accused.”

“This is horrific,” declared Planned Parenthood. “[DeVos] is determined to make it harder than ever for survivors of sexual assault to seek justice on campus.”

“The new rules would reduce liability for universities, tighten the definition of sexual harassment, and allow schools to use a higher standard in evaluating claims of sexual harassment and assault,” reported the Washington Post. “The most significant change would guarantee the accused the right to cross-examine their accusers, though it would have to be conducted by advisers or attorneys for the people involved, rather than by the person accused of misconduct.”

While the Obama guidance defined sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” unnamed sources told the newspaper that DeVos’ proposal describes it as “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.”

The new rules supposedly strongly resemble a draft leaked earlier this year. As the Post detailed:

Click Here: Putters

With the proposal “set for release before Thanksgiving, possibly this week,” according to the Post, some expressed concern that the timing could be a strategic ploy to stay off the public’s radar and avoid criticism. Sabrina Joy Stevens wrote for the National Women’s Law Center on Wednesday:

In addition to Stevens’ call to action—”We can’t let them get away with this,” she concluded—the Post article provoked immediate outrage on social media, with critics tweeting: “Re-victimizing the victims seems to be the plan here. Horrible.” “Shame on you, Betsy DeVos.” “[DeVos] is an enemy to women. #BelieveSurvivors.” And simply, “WTF?”

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon tweeted that if President Donald Trump—who has been accused of harassing and assaulting multiple women—and DeVos “actually cared about the well-being of survivors, this is the last thing they would do. We should be empowering survivors to speak up, not stifling them.”

DeVos’ proposal “encourages victim blaming and blatantly ignores the painful stories of #MeToo,” said Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California. “It takes us backward.”

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