Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the “basis of sex” committed by and/or against students in federally funded colleges and universities. Since most higher education institutions in the nation are funded in some capacity by the government, the majority of colleges and universities in the country are obligated to comply with Title IX regulations.
In recent years, it's been determined that sexual misconduct - in all of its varieties - is considered a form of sex discrimination. This means that actions that constitute sexual misconduct are a direct violation of Title IX, and therefore must be resolved by the school, in accordance with current guidelines.
Dating violence is a common form of sexual misconduct that coordinators oftentimes see on campus. In the event that a complaint is filed alleging dating violence, the accused and the accuser will undergo what's known as the Title IX process to come up with a finding. This process entails an investigation and possibly a hearing where the school will ultimately determine, based on evidence collected, if the accused student is “responsible” for this violation.
What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence is any intentional act or threatened act of violence committed by a person who is in a relationship of a social, romantic, or intimate nature with a victim. The violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological, and it is often committed in a pattern or a repeated cycle. As long as the dating violence committed is pervasive enough to create a hostile environment for a student, it is classified as misconduct.
More specifically, dating violence is any action that is used for the purposes of gaining power and control over a person in a mutual relationship. It could entail:
- Physical abuse: the intentional use of physical force with intentions of causing an injury (shoving, kicking, strangling, hitting etc.).
- Emotional abuse: non-physical behaviors like threatening, insults, stalking, humiliation, and more.
- Sexual abuse: any action that affects the partner's ability to control the circumstances in which sexual activities occur (rape, coercion, restricting access to birth control etc).
Throughout the Title IX process, it's important that accused students remember that they have due process rights. Although most schools are expected to thoroughly follow their own policy, sometimes pressure from the Education Department, timing restrictions, and other factors may lead to an unfair process and result. This is why accused students need the help of an attorney advisor to ensure that the process stays equitable and that the school is held accountable if it deviates from federal rules.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.