Under United States federal law, most notably Title IX and the Clery Act, students are guaranteed a right to education free from sexual violence and harassment.
In the case that such violence does occur, colleges and universities are required to respond to the various needs of survivors, which can include:
- academic accommodations (e.g., receiving an extension on a paper after an assault, or expunging poor grades due to the lingering effects of violence)
- housing accommodations (e.g., moving your rapist out of your dormitory)
- employment accommodations (e.g., modifying your work schedule to prevent interaction with your attacker)
- campus restraining orders (“no-contact directives”)
- counseling and other support services
Campuses must have grievance procedures in place for survivors to take disciplinary action against their perpetrators.
- Why do schools handle sexual violence cases at all? The criminal justice system prosecutes sexual violence as a criminal matter, but because assault and harassment pose obstacles to students’ access to education — a fundamental civil right — colleges and universities are required to respond to sexual violence and its detrimental effects on campus survivors’ life and learning. For more info, check out our full answer to this common question here.
Despite these legal guarantees, schools across the country continue to tolerate campus violence and mistreat survivors.
Based on our own experiences we know that students’ knowledge of their rights to educations free from violence is an essential tool for ensuring justice both for individuals and on a systemic level. Survivors who “know their IX” can advocate for themselves when reporting violence, demand that their schools live up to their legal responsibilities, and push for campus-wide change if students’ rights are not respected.
On this site you’ll find informational resources about dealing with and combating sexual assault, harassment, and abuse on college and university campuses. Our site will direct you to resources based on your goals, which we’ve divided into four general categories:
- Reporting violence or harassment
- Changing your school through Title IX, the Clery Act, and/or other activist strategies
- Supporting a survivor
- Spreading the word about the Know Your IX campaign
At each of these main landing pages you’ll find a collection of pages with information on the topic at hand. We encourage you to explore each of these portals and also check out our “Dealing with…” advice series.
As we mentioned on our “About” page, it’s important to remember that, while these resources have been written with the guidance of legal experts, we are not lawyers, and the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. We encourage you to contact a lawyer to discuss your complaint or suit.