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Yale Report Finds Sexual Misconduct Allegations Have Quadrupled Since 2011

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Title IX office at an Ivy League school has released a report on the number of sexual misconduct allegations it has received on a semester basis. The sharp increases over the years should be seen as a potential cause of concern.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations at Yale Have Quadrupled Since 2011

The report, which comes from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, pulls information about on-campus sexual misconduct allegations from the college's Title IX office as well as school police and the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. It is merely the latest in a series of semi-annual reports that have been issued by the school since January 2012.

In the most recent edition, which covered the spring semester from 2019, there were 169 reports of sexual misconduct. The vast majority of those were reported to the school's Title IX office, rather than to Yale's police department or the school's Committee on Sexual Misconduct. Of the reports:

  • 52% were for sexual harassment
  • 22% were for sexual assault, including rape, groping or offensive touching, and nonconsensual sexual contact
  • 8% were for stalking
  • 4% were for intimate partner violence
  • 14% were for something else

Perhaps the most surprising take away from the report, though, was the sharp increase in reports of sexual misconduct as a whole over the past decade. With few exceptions, every semi-annual report included more allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. When the report was first issued for the fall semester in 2011 – and for the two subsequent reports in 2012 – there were only around 40 allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. By 2015 through 2017, that number had doubled before skyrocketing in 2017 and 2018 to the current numbers in the 160 range.

Encouraging Sexual Assault Reporting is Not the Same as Not Deterring Them

Such sharp increases in the number of sexual misconduct allegations should be alarming. For years, the goal of the #MeToo movement and the Title IX changes initiated by the Obama administration had a singular goal: Stop deterring women from making legitimate sexual assault allegations.

But when does “not deterring” sexual misconduct claims cross the line to become “encouraging” them?

The difference is not just one of semantics. Just like the change in terminology in Title IX law from referring to someone who files a Title IX complaint as a “complainant” to calling them a “victim” tilts the entire attitude of the system against the accused; encouraging women to file sexual misconduct complaints, rather than just not preventing them from doing so, is a dangerous alteration in the law. Encouraging complaints, rather than focusing on just not deterring them, is bound to create false accusations and vengeful prosecutions from alleged victims who aren't taking their responsibility seriously.

The numbers from Yale's report suggest we may be much further along in this unfortunate process than we thought.

Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense attorney and national Title IX advisorContact him online or call him at (888) 535-3686 if you have been accused of sexual misconduct and are facing a Title IX case at your school.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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