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Murray, Hassan, Advocates and Survivors of Sexual Assault Urge Secretary DeVos to Withdraw Title IX Rule, Urge Students and Survivors to Make Their Voices Heard

Senators Murray and Hassan, advocates, and sexual assault survivors urged Secretary DeVos to withdraw her rule, listen to students and survivors, and aggressively implement student protections


Secretary DeVos’ proposed Title IX rule would weaken protections for survivors and make it easier for schools to shirk their responsibility to keep students safe


*Watch a livestream of the press conference here*

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Maggie Hassan joined sexual assault survivors and advocates from End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX to call on Secretary DeVos to rescind her proposed Title IX regulation that would once again sweep sexual assault under the rug. 


“Secretary DeVos’ proposed Title IX rule makes it clear she did not listen to students and survivors who bravely asked her to listen to their stories, hold schools accountable, and give students the resources and support they need when they are attacked, assaulted, or harassed,” said Senator Murray. “I’m calling on anyone who cares about students’ safety, on either side of the aisle, to join me in urging Secretary DeVos to withdraw this rule, start over, build on the progress we’ve made instead of moving us backward, and work with us and women and survivors across the country to draft a rule that truly addresses the scourge of sexual assault in our classrooms, our campuses, and wherever our students live and learn.” 


“Every student deserves to feel safe and supported in their living and academic environment, and we know that on college campuses, sexual assault remains a pervasive issue,” Senator Hassan said. “Secretary DeVos’s proposal weakens protections for survivors of sexual assault and would make it easier for colleges and universities to dodge their responsibilities when it comes to keeping students safe. I urge all those who are concerned about this proposal to make their voices heard and make clear to Secretary DeVos that reversing protections for survivors is unacceptable.”


Earlier this month, Secretary DeVos released a proposed Title IX regulation that would significantly weaken existing protections for students and make it easier for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to shirk their responsibility to keep students safe. These new regulations come despite numerous calls from Senators and student advocates to work with students and survivors to address the serious concerns raised following reports of the disturbing direction Secretary DeVos was planning to move in—the vast majority of which were ignored in the proposal.


“Betsy DeVos and this administration have done it again. The intention of the proposed Title IX rule is undeniably clear - to sweep sexual harassment, assault, and rape under the rug,” said Jess Davidson, of End Rape of Campus. “To silence survivors. To silence survivors like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. To silence survivors like the army of survivors who took down Larry Nassar. To silence survivors who experience harassment and assault in elementary school. In middle school. In high school. To silence survivors like me. It’s more urgent than ever to let DeVos know that it’s her job to improve the Title IX process, rather than making it as difficult as possible for survivors to access an educational remedy designed to protect their equal access to education.”


“If these draft rules become law, more survivors will be forced out of school by harassment, assault, and their schools’ indifference to their complaints,” said Sage Carson, of Know Your IX. “Already, an estimated 34% of students who experience sexual violence drop out of schools. Secretary DeVos is giving schools the free light to ignore survivors and push us out of our education. It’s time for us to take action and stop this rollback of survivors’ rights. Join us in telling DeVos to keep her hands of Title IX.”