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4 Points: How Title IX Works In Sexual Assault And Harassment Cases

Human beings spend a large part of their formative years at educational institutions. It will not be incorrect to say that the atmosphere at the schools and colleges attended by them shapes their personality. Title IX, that is a part of the Education Amendments of 1972, is an important civil rights law protecting students and staff from discrimination based on sex.  Here we are discussing how Title IX works in sexual assault and how Title IX attorney can help us in harassment cases. This is a vital regulation that aims to create a healthy environment that fosters the all-round development of young people. Sexual abuse of any kind can be a traumatic experience for any individual but more so for a young person. People who are at the receiving end of such unfortunate actions must seek legal assistance to get justice. The following points will help you understand how Title IX is applied to cases of sexual harassment and how victims and other persons can handle such cases.

 

1. Application Of Title IX

 

Let’s begin by discussing the application of Title IX to cases of sexual violence. Any physical act that was committed without the consent of the sufferer or if the victim was not in a position to protest is fit for the application of the regulation. Some people feel that it can be used only in instances where an explicit sexually violent act was committed. It will be pertinent to note that the law is applied to all kinds of sexual harassment and violence cases. It does not matter whether the act was physical in nature or not. Even if an unwelcome advance was made verbally, it will fall under the purview of the law. You must understand that a Title IX attorney can be approached for any kind of sex-based harassment whether it is physical, verbal, non-verbal or intimidatory in nature. Remember that all students at Title IX-compliant campuses are protected by the law irrespective of their gender or orientation. Even overseas citizens who are pursuing a full-time course or visiting for a short period are covered by the regulation. 



2. Responsibilities Of Educational Institutions Under Title IX

 

All educational institutions that are supported by federal funding have to adhere to Title IX guidelines. They have to define and document clear policies that bar all kinds of sex-based discrimination within their premises. All institutions that fall under the purview of the law have to appoint an officer who has to ensure the compliance of the organization with the regulation. In most schools, the post of Title IX coordinator is created for this purpose. The students, staff and faculty members can contact this individual for any issue related to the law. In case a prohibited incident occurs at the institution, it is the duty of the coordinator to investigate the matter and take the necessary steps. If you want to know how Title IX works in sexual assault and other such cases at your school, you can approach this official to get the relevant information. 

3. Correct Approach Of A Sexual Abuse Victim 

 

In case, someone suffers from sexual abuse, harassment or violence at an educational institution, that person must immediately report it to the school authorities. If there is a Title IX coordinator's office at the campus, then the matter must be reported to the person holding the post. It is the school’s duty to take measures to ensure the victim’s well-being and safety. If the sufferer feels that the institution has not responded in the proper manner to the incident, then he/ she can lodge a complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). This is the federal government agency responsible for implementing the law at all campuses. There is also the option of filing a complaint with the relevant police authorities. However, it is not mandatory to do so and if the victim fails to file a police complaint, his/her Title IX rights will remain unaffected. The best approach will be to hire a Title IX law firm to get proper advice on the issue. Even accused in such cases look to consult a Title IX defense lawyer to protect themselves.

 

4. Lodging A Complaint With The OCR

 

As mentioned in the earlier point, a victim can file a complaint with the OCR if he/she feels that proper justice has not been done. It is not only sufferers who can lodge a complaint but any other person who knows about the incident can also do so. The forms for this purpose are available in electronic and PDF formats on the website of the agency. The complaint must be lodged within 180 days of the incident. In case, the institution has started a grievance process for handling the matter, then the complaint must be filed within 60 days of the completion of that procedure.

 

Conclusion 

 

You must have now got a fair idea about how Title IX works in sexual assault and other related cases. This information will help you in understanding the approach that needs to be taken if such incidents occur at your campus. 

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