According to a report by the American Institutes for Research, indicate that while crimes on campus have decreased 34 percent in the last twelve years, reported sex crimes have increased by 126 percent during the same period. This steady rise in campus sexual assaults is leaving administrators and authorities questioning how this is happening. What studies are finding is that parents, teachers and school counselors are not discussing what consent mean to teens and young college students. Thus, students enter college, completely aware of their newfound freedoms and end up making mistakes that could cost them their future.
Within the last few years, coverage surrounding high-profile sexual assault cases has skyrocketed. Cases like the Stanford rape case, the UC Berkeley sexual harassment scandal and the three Good Samaritan women who prevented another woman from being drugged in a Santa Monica bar have brought to light the need for college campuses to address the issue of consent with their student bodies. Organizations like Party with Consent and campaigns like Consent is Sexy have started discussing the topic of consent with colleges across the country.
Consequences of Sexual Assault
If you are charged with sexual assault while attending college, you face both state regulated penalties and college regulated penalties. Federal requires college campuses to comply with Title IX, The Clery Act, and SB 967 State Bill.
- Title IX – prohibits the discrimination on the basis of sex under any federally funded education program. Under this law, sexual harassment including sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination. Any school that receives federal funding must take steps to prevent sexual assaults, sexual harassment and other violent sex crimes on campus. These schools are also required to promptly and effectively respond to any reports of the above crimes. In most cases, the school responds by expelling the accused rapist without due process and finding evidence beyond a reasonable doubt the crime was committed.
- The Clery Act—This act requires colleges to participate in federal programs that report annual crime statistics on and near college campuses. As of 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization required schools to include sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking in these reports.
- SB 967 – Commonly known as the “Yes Means Yes” bill, it requires colleges to accept policies regarding sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence.
In addition to the penalties you could face from your college, students could also face misdemeanor or felony charges, jail sentences, and hefty fines. If you have been accused of rape, sexual assault, or any other sex crime, retaining a Ventura criminal attorney is a crucial component in protecting your rights.
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