Department of Ed must support the Dear Colleague letter

Jewish Women International (JWI), a leading advocate against campus sexual assault and dating violence, condemns Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s announcement today as an attack on survivors of sexual assault and dating abuse. The guidelines issued by the Department of Education in 2011 have helped school administrators and students provide all students with equal protection and have improved student’s rights. Rolling back these guidelines will further victimize the one-fifth of female college students who experience rape or sexual assault.

"Today’s action is an insult to victims, advocates, administrators and campus sexual assault coordinators throughout the country," said JWI CEO Lori Weinstein.  "The facts speak for themselves-- every year, hundreds of victims of sexual assault do not get the justice they deserve. This is why the Obama Administration put the Dear Colleague letter in place. Devos’s action today erases the progress we have made in the past eight years.”

JWI provides critical proactive programming on college campuses, teaching students about sexual assault, dating abuse, and bystander intervention.  We call on the Department of Education to support the Dear Colleague letter and further bolster the rights of survivors of sexual assault, dating abuse, and stalking on college campuses across the country.

Danielle Cantor