Title IX: 44 Years Later, Women Deserve Better on Campus

Legislator calls for action to prevent sexual assault, protect victims, and ensure justice on campus

June 23, 2016

MADISON – Today marks the 44th anniversary of the signing of Title IX, the portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972 which guarantees that women may not be excluded from participation or subject to gender discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title IX also required colleges and universities who receive federal funding to combat gender-based violence and harassment, and respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education. While the signing of Title IX was a major milestone in the fight for gender equality, women still face challenges on our college campuses.                                                                                                                  

“The 44th anniversary of Title IX is bittersweet. While the law guaranteed women the right to pursue education free of discrimination, it is clear that four decades later we have not yet achieved full gender equality on campus,” said Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison).  “The continued prevalence of sexual assault of women on college campuses is disturbing and disgraceful. Worse, we have yet to eliminate an egregious campus culture that allows victim blaming and protects perpetrators of sexual assault.”   

The recently publicized Stanford rape case is an example of the challenges women are facing on campuses everywhere, including in our own community. The National Institute for Justice (NIJ) has estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20% and 25% over the course of a college career. In the same report, the NIJ reported that less than 5% of completed or attempted rapes against college women are reported to law enforcement.

“The high rate of sexual assault on campus is a trend we cannot afford to let continue. I am committed to introducing and moving forward policies during the next legislative session to address this serious problem,” said Representative Subeck. “After 44 years of Title IX, we should be proud of our accomplishments but must recognize that women deserve better on campus. We must take immediate action to prevent sexual assault, protect victims, and ensure justice.”

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