How Should Colleges and Universities Handle Sexual Abuse Claims?

November 14, 2018
Posted on: November 14, 2018
Author: Ramey Law P.C.
sex abuse

Universities and colleges have a responsibility to protect their students by providing a safe environment.

However, recent changes to the law have led to fewer disciplinary actions for students who are accused of sexual assault. Higher education institutions are also now considering whether to raise the standard of proof while also continuing to improve safety on their campuses. Raising the standard of proof makes it more difficult to collect evidence when it comes to abuse cases.

Now, colleges and universities can choose to ask for “clear and convincing” evidence in order to discipline students in Title IX sexual assault cases.

How Do I File a Sexual Assault Claim?

If you have faced sexual abuse or sexual harassment on your college campus, then you could report the incident. By filing a report, your school can take the proper steps to stop the harassment and prevent future instances.

You can also file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) office within 180 days of the incident. Filing a private lawsuit under Title IX with an independent investigator is also a common option for students. He or she can file a claim on your behalf even if a complaint has already been filed with the OCR, the school, or the police. There is a shorter statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.

How Should My School Respond?

The university or college should take necessary action if they are faced with a sexual assault complaint. However, many schools have made mistakes while handling these claims. Not doing enough can result in a federal investigation and a decrease in federal funding, while doing “too much” can risk potential lawsuits from other students.

Your school should put interim measures in place, provide appropriate accommodations and take necessary disciplinary measures against the perpetrator. If you want to file a sexual abuse claim against a university, you should first speak with a Los Angeles attorney who can help with your case. Contact Ramey Law P.C. for more information and a free consultation.