Deseret News | July 27, 2016 “As of Wednesday, 260 sexual violence cases are under investigation at 202 postsecondary institutions by the Office for Civil Rights.
It’s a ‘massive increase’ from 2009, when the office had 20 open investigations, according to Sejal Singh, policy coordinator at the sexual violence advocacy group Know Your IX.
On the one hand, the increase in complaints — and the rapid clip at which the office has been opening investigations — is a sign that the federal government and student activists have been successful at shedding light on campus sexual assault, Singh said.
But the situation has created a “massive backlog” for investigators, according to Singh. According to a report from The Yale Law Journal, the average federal investigation last year took 1,032 days to complete.”
Metro US | July 26, 2016 “According to Know Your IX, an advocacy group that works to empower students to stop sexual violence on campus, many victims of campus sexual violence are reluctant to turn to the criminal justice system, and having a Title IX grievance process for claims of sexual harassment or assault can help adjudicate such concerns without involving the criminal justice system.
Nothing about filing an internal grievance with the school would preclude a victim from going to the police, though the group notes that is a rarely successful recourse: only a quarter of reported rapes lead to an arrest, and only a fifth lead to prosecution.”
The Atlantic | July 25, 2016 “The first hard step: Universities need a best-practice sexual harassment policy that protects the rights of survivors while also giving alleged harassers due process—not immunity. The hysteria suggesting that these two goals are irreconcilable is unjustified. Many advocates are working on this, from well established national groups like American Association of University Women to grassroots efforts such as Know Your IX.”
The Huffington Post | July 13, 2016 “Major civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza and the Human Rights Campaign signed the letter. The two biggest teacher unions, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, also added their names to the list.
Other groups that signed the letter include the American Association of University Women, End Rape On Campus, Know Your IX, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, Women’s Law Project and Campus Pride.”
Bustle | July 1, 2016 “3. React To Their Reactions: As we’re learning, reactions to sexual assault are varying and complex, and one of the most subtly supportive ways to help a survivor of sexual assault is to understand that fact. How do you put that into practice? By reacting to their own reactions, rather than what you assume about how they’re feeling. The student sexual violence organization Know Your IX has a good summary of the most effective approach: ‘Just as you shouldn’t minimize the assault, don’t catastrophize either.’ The assault is important and deeply invasive, but the survivor may not appreciate being treated as if it’s the end of their world unless they feel that way as well.”
ESPN W | June 23, 2016 “‘Universities are giant bureaucratic machines, so I think it’s really difficult to know who’s doing it well because our only real measure is when they don’t do it well,’ Jessica Luther, a freelance journalist who reports on sexual assault on college campuses, said. ‘One of the things I think about when I meet Title IX coordinators and talk to them about their jobs is that they care a lot about survivors and the climate on campus, but translating that to 15,000, 25,000, 40,000 people is when it gets harder.’
Organizations such as End Rape on Campus (EROC) and Know Your IX have stepped in to fill the perceived void left by universities, informing students on how to file Title IX complaints with the Department of Education.”
The Huffington Post | June 16, 2016 “Spokespersons for these schools largely said they hadn’t reached out to their students about the investigations because there was nothing they could share — beyond the fact that a federal review is happening.
Alyssa Peterson, a policy coordinator for the educational and advocacy group Know Your IX, doesn’t think that’s good enough.
‘I think a school should alert its students if it’s under investigation for sexual harassment,’ said Peterson. ‘Very few will because they’re more concerned about reputational costs than the harassment of their students.'”
MTV News | June 8, 2016 “There are many for whom justice simply does not equate to any kind of prison sentence — no matter how lenient or how severe. As [Know Your IX Co-Founder Alexandra] Brodsky said, ‘I think that our politics have to be driven by the real needs of real people … people are different from one another and want really different things and that is really tricky when you’re trying to design a system.’ Rather than look toward a single solution, then, perhaps we’d do well to accept we cannot create a universal understanding of justice. Instead, we might just have to do the very thing our nation is perhaps worst at, the thing we failed to do for Cosby’s survivors, for the Stanford victim, and so many more: Give them choices, and trust that they’ll make the one that’s best for them.”
Women’s eNews | June 2, 2016 “Launched in 2013 to publicize gender-based discrimination law on college campuses, [Know Your IX] is now seeking to make sure teens know about the law, which in addition to protecting gender equity in team sports opportunities also guarantees them a learning environment safe from assault and harassment.
But student advocates, not celebrities or media projects, are best positioned to address the issue, says Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of the Know Your IX Campaign.”
Flavorwire | May 31, 2016 “When speaking about collaborating with Brodsky, Bolger told me, ‘We found commonality in our shared experiences of violence, and in our schools’ responses to it. And through talking to students all over the country, we realized that one of the single biggest barriers keeping survivors from getting the support they needed from their schools was their lack of knowledge that they were legally entitled to that support to begin with. So we decided to do something about it.’ And do something they did. The two, who are also editors at Feministing, raised $11,000, created a website, and curated content from their organizer friends to launch Know Your IX, the national campaign which aims to educate all students in the country on their rights under Title IX.”
The New York Times | May 3, 2016 “A word that was conceived to free women from stigma now feels, to some, prescriptive. ‘Compulsory survivorship depoliticizes our understanding of violence and its effects,’ Dana Bolger, the executive director of Know Your IX, a ‘survivor and youth led organization’ dedicated to fighting sexual violence in schools, wrote at Feministing.com. ‘It places the burden of healing on the individual, while comfortably erasing the systems and structures that make surviving hard, harder for some than for others.'”
Teen Vogue | April 20, 2016 “Alyssa Peterson, a survivor of on-campus sexual assault and a policy organizer for Know Your IX, adds that when she was assaulted in 2011, she didn’t realize that Title IX afforded her protections against gender-based violence. ‘I think that was a common sentiment across the country — and because we didn’t know our rights, schools could abuse us with impunity,’ she tells Teen Vogue. ‘But through the work of activists that protested the Department of Education, held demonstrations on their campuses, and filed a record number of complaints, thousands of students now know their right to access an education free from violence under Title IX and can hold their schools accountable.'”
Jezebel | April 20, 2016 “While BYU’s involvement of the Honor Code might not be a clear violation of Title IX, some experts say that it violates the law’s spirit. Alexandra Brodsky, co-founder of Know Your IX, told Jezebel that Title IX obligates universities to ‘take affirmative action to reduce gender violence’; the federal law, she added, ‘is also sensitive to the environment of the school and not just the impact on the individual student.’ Brodsky elaborated:
Schools have to make sure that there’s no hostile environment on campus. I think there’s a real argument to be made that having these Honor Code restrictions can be used in a retaliatory way.
[BYU’s procedures] can very reasonably be read as perpetuating a hostile environment because the school is constructing roadblocks to students reporting harassment and assault and abuse, therefore putting future students at risk.”
What We Still Get Wrong About College Sexual Assault: “We Don’t Believe That It Could Happen to Someone We Know”
Glamour | April 7, 2016 “The student and survivor activist group Know Your IX has gone so far as to assemble an alumni toolkit to help alums do just that. The organization also suggests that alums call their alma maters and ask for answers as to what the school is doing to prevent sexual violence on campus, what services and accommodations are available to student survivors of violence, and how the school hold perpetrators accountable and prevents them from re-victimizing classmates.
Know Your IX points out that many schools, other intentionally or unintentionally underreport their data of number of sexual assault per year. What’s a red flag? While a low rate might make someone think that that’s a safer school, a zero report rate should raise eyebrows. If students aren’t reporting, that means they don’t feel safe reporting. A school may have a higher number of reported assaults, but that could also mean that a more invested administration has created a climate where students feel they can safely report, or that community resources offer a strong safety net for survivors.”
Teen Vogue | March 9, 2016 “According to Know Your IX, a survivor- and youth-led organization that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in schools, if a friend is the victim of GBV, a crucial first step you can take to help is to listen to them and believe them. It’s important to listen without interrupting or trying to problem solve, but just give the survivor space to vocalize and come to terms with their own experience.”
Tampa Bay Times | February 10, 2016 “‘I write to commend you for your courage and steadfast commitment to student safety,’ Dana Bolger, executive director for Know Your IX (a national campus sexual assault prevention organization), wrote in a letter to Diaz de la Portilla that was given to the Times/Herald. Download Know Your IX Letter to Senator Diaz de la Portilla (The same letter was also sent to Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando.)
‘I can say with confidence that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campuses would have dangerous and potentially fatal consequences for Florida students, particularly for women and other marginalized students,’ Bolger wrote. ‘Some proponents of HB 4001 and SB 68 have suggested that allowing students to carry guns will protect them from becoming victims of sexual assault. This could not be further from the truth.'”
The Huffington Post | February 4, 2016 “Activism, however effective it is on its own, is most potent when centralized. National leaders on this issue like Annie Clark and Andrea Pino of The Hunting Ground and Alexandra Brodsky of Know Your IX have fought for so long to find a space for these conversations on college campuses. Now that we have finally made room, it’s time to unite separate strands of thought amongst highly disparate and disconnected communities. It’s time for the fraternity brothers and survivors and athletes and student government officials to sit side by side and develop an intersectional, inclusive, and result-oriented template for this discourse.”
Education Dive | February 4, 2016 “Survivor and youth-led advocacy group Know Your IX conducts a mixture of policy and student engagement work around Title IX and sexual assault. While Deputy Director Mahroh Jahangiri says colleges and universities are failing to meet their responsibilities under the gender equity law, she says she does not believe that is a good reason to lessen their burden.
Schools, Jahangiri said, are in a unique position to respond to the needs of survivors. They have the power to move victims of sexual assault out of dorms they share with their assailants. They can change their class assignments, and offer counseling services.
‘We don’t think it’s a question of schools being unable to do this,’ Jahangiri said. ‘It’s a matter of better federal enforcement of Title IX to hold schools accountable.'”
Forbes | January 29, 2016 “There are relevant federal regulations here. Title IX and Title VI are supposed to protect people from gender-based discrimination (including sexual harassment) and race-based discrimination in educational environments and workplaces. However, the mere existence of a regulation doesn’t guarantee vigorous enforcement. According to Know Your IX:
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the office tasked with enforcing Title IX, has never once sanctioned a college or university for sexual assault-related Title IX violations. Instead the agency quietly concludes investigations, asks universities to sign voluntary resolution agreements (VRAs) — essentially signed promises to do better next time — and issues no finding of violation.”
Teen Vogue | January 14, 2016 “We were frustrated by our schools’ lackluster responses to assault complaints. We quickly realized that we weren’t alone in our exasperation, and in 2013 these shared experiences prompted us to create Know Your IX, a survivor-led organization working to build safer campuses. Soon we were activist partners and, eventually, best friends.”
Slate | January 13, 2016 “Perhaps most importantly, universities can do a lot to protect a rape victim’s rights to an education, with or without weighing charges against the assailant. As Alexandra Brodsky, co-founder of the group Know Your IX and an editor at Feministing, wrote this week:
An extension on a paper due the week after an assault might make the difference between a victim staying in school and dropping out. No police force can provide that kind of accommodation. Don’t want victims “sitting in a classroom alongside somebody who raped them”? A school can often make that happen more quickly than a student can get a restraining order, particularly if he or she has trouble accessing a court.”
RH Reality Check | January 12, 2016 “In a post for Feministing urging Sen. Sanders to revisit his position, senior editor Alexandra Brodsky, who co-founded Know Your IX, an organization that works to end sexual violence on campus, explained that ‘school responses to gender violence are necessary to protect students’ right to an education regardless of gender.’
‘Absolutely, it’s essential that students who feel like reporting to the police is best for them be able to do so,’ explained Brodsky. ‘At the same time, school remedies, like dorm changes and tutoring, are crucially important for a survivor’s ability to learn. That’s why the anti-discrimination law Title IX requires schools to prevent and respond to sexual assault in addition to, not in place of, criminal law enforcement,’ she continued.”
The Huffington Post | January 12, 2016 “Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale Law student and co-founder of the advocacy group Know Your IX, said Sanders has ‘a lot to learn.’
‘Without key interventions by their schools, many survivors won’t be able to continue their educations,’ Brodsky wrote on Feministing, where she is an editor. ‘An extension on a paper due the week after an assault might make the difference between a victim staying in school and dropping out. No police force can provide that kind of accommodation. Don’t want victims ‘sitting in a classroom alongside somebody who raped them’? A school can often make that happen more quickly than a student can get a restraining order, particularly if he or she has trouble accessing a court.'”
The Hill | January 11, 2016 “He added that too many schools are treating it as a ‘student issue’ instead of referring accusations to law enforcement and added that victims shouldn’t have to be in classes with their rapists.
But the idea of mandatory law enforcement referral has long been met by with skepticism by advocates trying to stop sexual assaults on college campuses. Ninety percent of survivors polled by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and Know Your IX said they wanted to have the choice of whether to report or to whom, while 80 percent agreed that mandatory police reporting could ‘have a chilling effect on reporting.'”
Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault, Failed by Criminal Justice System, Increasingly Seek Civil Remedies
RH Reality Check | January 8, 2016 “The group Know Your IX, started in 2013 by a group of sexual assault survivors and their supporters, explains on its website that ‘many victims of sexual violence don’t want to turn to the criminal justice system.’
The group states: ‘[Victims] may fear skepticism and abuse from police, prosecutors, or juries; they may not want to go through the ordeal of a long trial; they may fear retaliation from their assailant, who will most likely not end up prosecuted, let alone convicted; and they may be hesitant to send their assailants to prison. But even survivors who do report to the police are often abandoned by the system.'”
WNYC News | December 29, 2015 “Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, the deputy director of Know Your IX, a national organization focused on campus sexual violence, many more students are coming forward with rape accusations (both recent and older), but are less willing to deal with the criminal justice system.
‘We hear from students often, students who are black, undocumented, gay or transgender, they actually feel extremely uncomfortable going to the police,’ she said.”
Slate | December 21, 2015 “Feminists and victims’ advocates saw the storm coming when Rolling Stone retracted its story in December 2014. ‘Rolling Stone’s letter will be the first citation for every rape denialist,’ Alexandra Brodsky, a co-founder of the student campaign Know Your IX and an editor at Feministing, wrote on MSNBC. ‘They screwed up and now students will pay the price.’ In the wake of the story, national Greek organizations lobbied hard for legislation that would have made it extremely difficult for universities to punish perpetrators of sexual violence. They dropped the bill after a backlash this November, but this yearlong effort to institute regressive policies symbolized the way the Rolling Stone controversy set the clock back on the campus rape debate.”
TakePart | December 14, 2015 “‘We consistently hear that if survivors were required to report to police, most of them would choose not to report at all,’ says Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of the survivor advocacy organization Know Your IX, which focuses on holding schools accountable under the law that requires them to protect women and minorities from civil rights violations, known as Title IX.
Survivor-focused groups are unilaterally opposed to the Safe Campus Act. Know Your IX instead supports a bill introduced in June by Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier of California and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, which would amend the Higher Education Act to allow students to sue their college or university if they violate the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to publish crime statistics and annual security reports. It would also provide $5 million in additional funding to the Education Department to enforce it and Title IX.”
Newsweek | December 10, 2015 “Advocates for sexual assault victims are scornful of these Title IX lawsuits. ‘I worry that it encourages or it incentivizes universities to evaluate actual allegations of sexual assault and dating violence not based on their merits, and not to investigate the truth of what happened, but simply to evaluate who poses the greater sort of threat of litigation,’ says Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, a recent Columbia graduate. She helped Sulkowicz carry her mattress at graduation and is now deputy director of Know Your IX, a survivor-run anti-sexual-violence campaign. ‘The impact on individual survivors can be tremendous,’ she says, adding that the lawsuits can expose survivors to unwanted publicity and give the impression that the number of false rape accusations is higher than it is.”
ESPN | December 7, 2015 “In an effort to gain more transparency, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) co-sponsored the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which demands much more stringent and detailed sexual assault policies on the part of universities. This policy proposal comes at a time of increased focus on campus sexual assault, thanks in large part to the student activists of End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX, who have led the movement that has placed over 100 schools under investigation by the Department of Education for violations of Title IX.”
Mic | November 24, 2015 “The Clery Act, which requires schools to disclose crimes committed on their campuses and from which these numbers were gathered, exists not only to publicly hold campuses accountable, but also to ‘disclose educational programming, campus disciplinary process and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints,’ according to the anti-sexual assault organization Know Your IX, as well as to ‘address all incidents of sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.'”
CNN | November 22, 2015 “Sexual and gender-based violence is a topic of national conversation, and in addition to End Rape on Campus, groups such as SAFER, Know Your IX, Carry That Weight, and Callisto are collectively responsible for headlines that call out campuses who mishandle complaints of sexual violence.”
Yale Daily News | November 19, 2015 “The police force has long been a perpetrator of violence and discrimination against women of color and individuals with non-binary gender identities, two groups that are disproportionately at risk of sexual violence and disproportionately unlikely to report it. According to the advocacy organization ‘Know Your IX,’ many states do not recognize rape against someone of the same gender, or rape against men, as a crime at all. Additionally, given the likelihood that there are no direct witnesses, it is extremely hard to find someone guilty of rape using the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard of evidence used in courtrooms. At the college level, however, the standard used is ‘preponderance of the evidence,’ since the most serious penalty is expulsion — not jail time. Since the stakes are lower, victims are more likely to come forward and see their attackers punished.”
San Francisco Chronicle | November 17, 2015 “Survivors of sexual assault have formed advocacy groups like Know Your IX that outlast their individual terms at school. In 2011 the U.S. Office for Civil Rights gave colleges and universities explicit instructions on how to comply with Title IX. Complaints by students have generated federal investigations of more than 140 post-secondary schools and 40 school districts. Lawsuits have followed.”
Law Street | November 12, 2015 “Additionally, requiring victims of rape to report their assaults to the police opens up a whole new set of issues–including the fact that rape victims often aren’t treated with respect or dignity. Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, an advocacy group, explains:
Many survivors of color, who experience police surveillance and brutality every day, don’t want to go to the very people who have been agents of violence against them. And for male survivors and survivors assaulted by someone of the same sex, reporting to the police won’t do anything: Many states still don’t recognize rape against people of the same gender, or against men, as rape at all.”
Raw Story | November 4, 2015 “When the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States, suggested in its White House recommendations that campus rape be curbed by increasing efforts around criminal justice as opposed to campus adjudication processes, for example, younger activists weren’t pleased. Wagatwe Wanjuki, a board member of Know Your IX and a sexual assault survivor,wrote at the time : ‘I chose a school judicial process for many reasons.’
She continued: ‘I was a young woman of color uncomfortable with the use of an institution that is often violent, distrustful, and discriminatory towards people who look like me, it was preferable to using the criminal court process.'”
The Huffington Post | November 2, 2015 “Several advocacy and activist groups, some of whom signed Monday’s letter, have previously complained that the Safe Campus Act was flawed legislation. Higher education officials have also been reluctant to support the bill.
A petition in opposition to the Safe Campus Act, started by the college sexual assault victims’ advocacy group Know Your IX, has so far collected more than 20,000 signatures.”
New York Magazine | October 20, 2015 “In this line of thinking, sex after yes, sex without violence or coercion, is good. Sex is feminist. And empowered women are supposed to enjoy the hell out of it. In fact, Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale law student and founder of anti-rape organization Know Your IX, tells me that she has heard from women who feel that ‘not having a super-exciting, super-positive sex life is in some ways a political failure.'”
Mic | October 19, 2015 “‘Many survivors choose not to go to the police simply because nothing in the criminal justice process is set up to support them as survivors,’ Dana Bolger, founding co-director of the national, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence, Know Your IX, told Mic in April.
Activists are fighting back. Plenty of campus-based activists are fighting the act and efforts to promote it. Know Your IX launched the hashtag #UnSafeCampusAct to counter it, for example, and other activists — like Julia Dixon of PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and Matt Leibowitz of Consent is So Frat — have launched Change.org petitions countering the legislation.”
The Huffington Post | October 5, 2015 “Activists are now beginning to sharpen their focus on the K-12 level, examining how schools — especially high schools — handle sexual violence, and whether they comply with the gender equity law Title IX.
The advocacy group Know Your IX has recently put out a toolkit to explain how Title IX applies to high school sexual assault cases. Directors of End Rape On Campus are advocating to expand affirmative consent education into high schools. The social impact team behind the campus rape documentary “It Happened Here” has worked to facilitate screenings in high schools.”
MTV News | October 2, 2015 “In an email to MTV News, Mahroh Jahangiri, the deputy director for youth power and strategic partnerships at Know Your IX, said California’s bill is ‘a big step forward.’
‘When I was in high school, teachers ignored the harassment and violence in our hallways, despite their clear obligations under Title IX to prevent it,” Jahangiri wrote. “It’s encouraging to see California requiring schools to proactively teach students about healthy relationships, consent, and gender violence.'”
The Huffington Post | October 1, 2015 “‘One of the primary reasons we’re in the situation we are today where schools are flagrantly violating the law [handling sexual assault cases] is because they have been allowed to do so without any transparency for decades,’ said Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of Know Your IX, an advocacy group fighting sexual violence on campus.”
RH Reality Check | October 1, 2015 “But the bill isn’t just sexist; it’s dangerous too. As deputy director of Know Your IX, I hear every day from student survivors who say that, were the police further enmeshed in the campus process, they’d report to no one at all. A survey of student survivors that Know Your IX conducted with the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence confirmed that further involving the police will dramatically decrease reporting to schools, leaving perpetrators free to roam campuses with impunity.”
Politico Magazine | September 2015 “The survivor-led campaign they founded in 2013, Know Your IX, informs women of their rights under Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs; because women are disproportionately the victims of sexual assault, Bolger and Brodsky say, colleges that don’t address that problem are giving women uneven educational access.”
RH Reality Check | September 29, 2015 “‘This survey is significant confirmation of a major problem, and it confirms what we’ve been saying about the mind-set on campus and the reception survivors expect to encounter,’ Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of Know Your IX, told the New York Times.”
HuffPost Blog | September 29, 2015 “Groups like Know Your IX and local campus organizations across the country are doing the vital work of helping those who experience rape take steps to seek healing and justice. They’re also working hard on prevention, to get college administrations to focus on meaningful training of students and those charged with handling intake and investigation of complaints, and to be transparent and produce regular reports on the outcome of those complaints.”
Yahoo Health | September 22, 2015 “Colleges, particularly ‘elite’ institutions, attract some of the most privileged students in the country. “That privilege sometimes breeds a certain arrogance and entitlement, whether to a desired grade in the classroom, or to women’s bodies,” Know Your IX co-founder Dana Bolger told Yahoo Health.”
VICE | September 21, 2015 “‘There’s a cultural obsession in this country to pick apart the 1-in 5 statistic,’ said Dana Bolger over email. Bolger is the co-founder of the anti–campus sexual assault organization Know Your IX. ‘No number of studies, all confirming the 1-in-5, will ever be good enough for a particular segment of the American population, which insists that women lie, that justice is readily attainable, and that rape is an anomaly rather than an epidemic.'”
MTV News | September 21, 2015 “Conversations around sexual assault on college campuses have helped many survivors — and anyone concerned about gender-related violence — come together for support, information and healing conversations. But activism doesn’t start or end on the quad.
That’s why the lovely folks at Know Your IX — a group that educates people about the protections in the 1972 anti-gender discrimination law, Title IX — created the High School Title IX Tool Kit to help get younger people in on the action.”
The New York Times | September 21, 2015 “‘This survey is significant confirmation of a major problem, and it confirms what we’ve been saying about the mind-set on campus and the reception survivors expect to encounter,’ said Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of Know Your IX, an advocacy group that fights sexual assault.”
Teen Vogue | September 16, 2015 “According to a survey of sexual assault survivors, conducted by the groups Know Your IX and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, 88% of them said that they believe the requirement of police involvement would result in even fewer victims reporting to anyone at all. And given that, according to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, only 32% of all sexual assaults are reported to police already, that’s far from a step in the right direction.”
VICE | September 14, 2015 “According to Know Your IX co-founder Dana Bolger, there are many ways in which asking marginalized survivors to report to the police can result in increased violence. ‘Many survivors of color, who experience police surveillance and brutality every day, don’t want to go to the very people who have been agents of violence against them,’ she said in an email. ‘And for male survivors and survivors assaulted by someone of the same sex, reporting to the police won’t do anything: Many states still don’t recognize rape against people of the same gender, or against men, as rape at all.'”
The Huffington Post | September 13, 2015 “Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX: ‘Some states still don’t recognize men as victims of rape, leaving them without recourse in the criminal legal system. For undocumented student survivors, reporting to law enforcement can trigger deportation proceedings. And for student survivors from heavily policed and criminalized communities, interacting with law enforcement can feel like the furthest thing from safe. Who do you turn to for protection when the very people entrusted to do so are agents of violence against you? For many student survivors, the answer has been their college.'”
The Atlantic | September 11, 2015 “Traditionally, schools across the country have invested astonishingly disparate amounts of resources in sexual-assault awareness and prevention. Some schools, like Moraine Park Technical College, for example, are launching programs for the first time this year, while others, like the University of Texas, already had Campus SaVE-esque policies prior to its passage. It seems that few institutions, however, fall into the latter category, according to Know Your IX policy coordinator Alyssa Peterson, who noted that the government has never really had a streamlined way to comprehensively track schools’ sexual-assault programs. A major goal of Campus SaVE was to implement minimum standards to make policies more uniform nationwide and ensure that more people on more campuses gain exposure to the complexities of the sexual-assault problem and the most effective means to address it.”
The Huffington Post | September 10, 2015 “‘We wanted to find a way to bring survivors’ silenced voices to the Congress members,’ Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, told HuffPost as she explained why her group helped promote the petition against the bill.”
Chicago Tribune | September 2, 2015 “As an advocate with Know Your IX, a student-survivor group, I hear every day from survivors who say unequivocally that they would never have reported an assault to their school if they were forced to go to the police first. In fact, a survey conducted by Know Your IX and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence found that 88 percent of survivors said that, were their campuses required to turn rape reports over to the police, fewer victims would report to anyone at all.”
The Guardian | September 2, 2015 “‘We have seen two really big problems with the It’s On Us campaign,’ said Mahroh Jahangiri, a co-organizer with the Know Your IX, a student-organized group focused on teaching peers how to use Title IX statutes.
‘If someone just watches this video, you still walk away not really knowing what consent is. You’re not taught how to ask for it,’ Jahangiri said. ‘It’s On Us places the burden of stopping violence on us as students.'”
RH Reality Check | August 21, 2015 “Not only are survivors’ stories being told every day online, but the telling and retelling has awakened would-be activists, joining together to demand comprehensive sex education, recognition from authorities, and form groups like Know Your IX, which puts the “how-to” of filing Title IX complaints in students’ hands.”
Yale Alumni Magazine | July/August 2015 “We have to remind ourselves why schools are involved in this anyway. This is probably the most common question that Know Your IX [the national nonprofit she codirects] gets: isn’t this criminal? Shouldn’t we just hand this over to the cops?
Title IX, which is the 1972 Education Amendment, doesn’t say anything about violence. What it says is that all students should be able to learn and have equal access to educational opportunities regardless of gender. It’s through pioneering feminists’ work—that came from Yale—that we got the Title IX that we have today, which encompasses sexual harassment, including sexual violence.”
The Washington Post | July 29, 2015 “Dana Bolger, a 2014 graduate of Amherst College involved in an anti-sexual-assault group called Know Your IX, said the federal anti-discrimination law known as Title IX requires schools to be fair and equitable in handling cases. ‘At the end of the day, we’re all really on the same page here,’ she said.”
US News | July 29, 2015 “[Know Your IX co-founder] Dana Bolger, an advocate for victims of campus gender violence, told the committee not enough is being done to help victims protect their rights and continue their education in the wake of attacks. Bolger, who graduated last year from Amherst College in Massachusetts, said she was a victim of a sexual assault.
‘I was urged to drop out and return after my rapist had graduated,’ Bolger said.”
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education | July 29, 2015 “Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, said that survivors of sexual assault were reluctant to go to law enforcement officials for a myriad of reasons. ‘The reality on the ground is that survivors tell us again and again that, were their schools forced to go to the police, they would report to no one at all,’ she said.
When no action is taken on behalf of victims, Bolger said, ‘The costs of violence are very real.’ Students who fail to receive adequate support may be forced to drop out or suffer physical and mental health problems. ‘Accommodations like housing changes and mental health services may seem trivial to the outside observer,’ she said. ‘But to student survivors across the country they are making the difference between staying in school and dropping out.'”
The Washington Post | July 20, 2015 “Know Your IX, another national advocacy group, has not taken a position on ‘scarlet letter’ legislation, said Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, program coordinator and youth engagement coordinator there.
It’s controversial, she said, in part because mandating tough penalties can make people more hesitant to report unwanted sexual encounters. On the other hand, they have seen students get a slap on the wrist, she said, then go on to hurt someone else. ‘It’s tricky to walk that line.'”
Voice of America | July 5, 1015 “Dana Bolger is a co-founder of Know Your IX, whose name refers to Title IX, a group of U.S. laws prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing equal opportunity for all in educational institutions that receive federal funds. Her organization educates and provides aid to students on matters involving sexual assaults. Bolger, who is a sexual assault survivor herself, said there are many reasons that survivors choose not to report incidents.
‘We know that most victims were assaulted by a friend or partner, and there can be a lot of confusion and doubt that comes along with that experience, and hesitation to report [someone] whom you know or love,’ she said.”
The Washington Post | June 17, 2015 “Dana Bolger, director of Know Your IX, said society spends ‘so much time and energy and money telling women not to get raped and so little time and energy and money telling men not to rape.'”
The Washington Post | June 17, 2015 “The college-focused advocacy group Know Your IX explains students’ rights under Title IX (the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education), how to report a crime and how statistics are made public under the Clery Act (which was named for a student raped and murdered in her dorm room), and how to support someone who needs help.”
The Washington Post | June 15, 2015 “Activists such as Badalich are seeking to get campuses to face the issue.
They are mobilizing under banners national and local: End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX (referring to a federal law that prohibits gender bias), One Less, Stand Up and many more. They are the engine for Take Back the Night, Consent Week, the Clothesline Project, Project Unbreakable, It Happens Here, the Red Flag Campaign, and other events and programs that reflect a demand for a cultural shift in attitudes toward sexual violence.”
Vox | June 15, 2015 “Still, placing some of the responsibility on women — teaching them it’s their burden to fight protect themselves against assault — troubles some advocates. It treats rape as an inevitable threat that women must guard against, rather than something men could be taught not to do. In the flu analogy, this type of course focuses on treating the disease — rather than finding a vaccine to eradicate the virus in the first place.
‘As a friend of mine once said, “If you’re pushing a woman to change her behavior to ‘prevent’ rape, rather than telling a perpetrator to change his, you’re really saying, ‘Make sure he rapes the other girl.'”‘ There will always be another girl at the bar,’ Dana Bolger, a co-founder of Know Your IX, which advocates for sexual assault victims on campus, wrote on Feministing.”
Reuters | June 12, 2015 “‘It’s always encouraging to hear of new ways to prevent rape,’ Alexandra Brodsky, co-director of Know Your IX, a campaign to end campus sexual violence, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
‘But I hope we take this as an opportunity to develop additional methods that take the burden to stop violence off potential victims.'”
Buzzfeed | June 9, 2015 “Even so, ‘schools are totally lost on how to respond to violence when it occurs in the context of a dating relationship,’ said Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, an activist group that has lobbied for dating violence to be taken seriously on campuses.
Activists have long felt frustrated that physical, emotional and psychological abuse is seen as secondary to sexual assault, unless a student is seriously injured or killed. That may be because college dating violence victims are often dismissed as being young and inexperienced, Bolger said. When people think of domestic violence, they think of marriage and children, not first-time relationships built over late-night fries in the cafeteria.
‘Students may live in a different dorm than their perpetrator,’ she said, ‘but that doesn’t mean their lives and education aren’t threatened.'”
Critical Juncture: Johns Hopkins University struggles with ongoing issues of gender discrimination and sexual assault
Baltimore City Paper | June 9, 2015 “But police departments can’t address the effects of sexual violence in the ways that universities can under Title IX. When universities handle sexual assault cases properly, they can be crucial in providing the accommodations or support systems that a sexual assault survivor needs after an assault, such as a new dorm room to be farther away from their rapist, academic accommodations in classes, or counseling services on campus—resources that a police department can’t provide. My strong belief in the potential that Title IX has to provide much-needed victim-centric care to sexual assault survivors is why, for about a year, I worked with Know Your IX, a grassroots advocacy organization that educates students on their rights under Title IX and advocates for stronger federal enforcement of Title IX.”
When “enough” is too little: Why the visibility of “Mattress Girl” isn’t the end of the campus rape fight
Salon | May 28, 2015 “In order to answer Daum’s question about why ‘we’ aren’t having these conversations, it’s useful to get specific about whom she means. If ‘we’ is the feminists doing the work on the ground, I’d point to the intersectional organizing and advocacy being done by the people at Know Your IX. Their focus spans from administrative failures at schools across the country to the financial and mental health burden on victims and police violence and the carceral state. Or the women graduating from these colleges and entering education, public policy, community organizing and the media to make these intersections — informed by their own experiences — visible for others.”
Pacific Standard Magazine | May 28, 2015 “But while the amount of sexual violence on our nation’s campuses may not be increasing, awareness of the problem certainly is. Many survivors, no longer content to suffer in silence, have become activists, forcing universities, lawmakers, and the rest of us to confront an issue that has been blocked from our collective conscience for far too long.
There’s Columbia University’s Emma Sulkowicz, who’s been carrying a mattress around campus in protest after her school neglected to punish the student who allegedly assaulted her. Or Dana Bolger and Alexandra Brodsky, survivors who launched ‘Know Your IX,’ a campaign to educate students about their rights and their universities’ legal responsibilities, when their own colleges discouraged them from filing reports on their assaults.”
The Huffington Post | May 6, 2015 “[Know Your IX cofounder Dana] Bolger notes despite the progress, undocumented, queer and trans students, as well as other marginalized communities still face unique challenges that aren’t being addressed yet.
For many campuses, she said, ‘I think we’re still at square one.’
‘At the end of the day,’ Bolger added, ‘we want there to be no more violence in schools, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.'”
The Chronicle of Higher Education | April 21, 2015 “The book’s lack of attention to the university’s role and policies is problematic, says Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale law student and co-founder of the group Know Your IX, which advocates for stronger enforcement of Title IX, the federal law that forbids gender discrimination in education.
Students’ complaints to the Education Department about how colleges deal with sexual misconduct generally have little or nothing to do with how cases have been handled by the police, Ms. Brodsky says. ‘That’s not where the action is on most campuses,’ she says.”
Mic | April 15, 2015 “Dana Bolger, founding co-director of the national, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence, Know Your IX, agrees. ‘Many survivors choose not to go to the police simply because nothing in the criminal justice process is set up to support them as survivors,’ she told Mic. This is demonstrated by the fact that many states’ laws still don’t protect some victims at all — such as those whose assailant is the same sex as them, or male survivors — nor do many states recognize particular forms of dating or domestic violence, such as cyberstalking.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education | April 13, 2015 “While the movement a generation ago was angry, Ms. Baumgardner says, this one is savvy, its sights set on policy. Organizers have access to high-level political appointees, and the promise of enforcement has brought more students forward. In the summer of 2013, they rallied outside the Education Department in college T-shirts — Carleton, George Washington, Maryland, Tufts. Alexandra Brodsky, a recent graduate of Yale, appealed directly to Arne Duncan: ‘We need you to have our backs.’ The following year, as the White House prepared its campaign “Not Alone,” President Obama answered her: ‘I’ve got your back.'”
The State Press | April 12, 2015 “Know your IX argues that universities can handle these cases in ways that criminal proceedings can’t, stating, ‘A criminal trial is brought against a defendant by the state — not the victim — in defense of the state’s interests. That means that what the survivor needs is sidelined. In contrast, schools, unlike criminal courts, are focused on the victim and are required to make sure he or she has everything they need to continue their education.’
For example, a rape victim’s case could have been resolved through a criminal court, but the victims perpetrator could still be roaming on the same college campus. This scenario could easily be resolved if the university stepped in.”
The Wall Street Journal | April 10, 2015 “The directive’s proponents point out that the ‘preponderance’ standard is used in most civil courts. Schools must treat violence against women as a civil-rights injury, not a crime, says Alexandra Brodsky, co-founder of Know Your IX, a student advocacy group.”
The Wall Street Journal | April 10, 2015
“Why is there so much attention to campus sexual misconduct now?
More students are reporting sexual assaults and more are suing over their schools’ handling of claims. “Almost all schools had some kind of procedure before the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter, it’s just that it was bad,” says Alexandra Brodsky of Know Your IX, a student group. Education Department Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon says federal focus helped prompt a national conversation about campus sexual violence.”
Bloomberg | April 8, 2015 “From 2012 to 2013, the number of Title IX complaints nearly quintupled. Brett Sokolow, whom BuzzFeed called ‘the most successful sexual assault consultant in the country,’ attributed that rise to a 2011 ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ released by the DOE to make it clear what colleges and universities must do to combat sexual harassment on campus. He also attributes it to the efforts of such organizations as Know Your IX, which are designed to help students combat sexual violence through Title IX.
The rise is ‘mostly because of the efforts of Know Your IX, in light of the 2011 DCL,’ he said.”
The Washington Post | April 8, 2015 “‘The stories that the media are taking are the really graphic, really brutal ones,’ said Brodsky at the panel discussion. Regardless of whether Jackie’s tale of a seven-man gang rape proved true, says Brodsky, it was never going to represent the common experience of campus sexual assault. ‘If what’s happening at Yale isn’t bad enough for you, you’re not really trying to support students. You’re not really trying to bring the truth to light. You’re trying to write a viral article,’ says Brodsky, who is also co-founder of Know Your IXand an editor at Feministing.”
Bustle | April 6, 2015 “Run by survivors of sexual assault, Know Your IX is a student-driven campaign aimed at educating U.S. college students about their rights under Title IX as well as empowering them to stop sexual violence. The website shares students’ first-hand experiences with violence, legal battles, and activism. An advice section called “Dealing With…” offers specialized help on everything from how to handle “finding a lawyer” to “being a religious survivor” and “surviving intimate partner violence.”
The advocacy group also pushes for policy and legislative change for improved federal enforcement of Title IX. Know Your IX was co-founded in 2013 by Dana Bolger and Alexandra Brodsky, two women who said they were raped while attending college.”
The Huffington Post | April 1, 2015 “‘Requiring an “either-or” approach unconscionably denies survivors necessary services and demands that they decide whether their assaults be addressed as crimes or civil rights violations when they are, in fact, both,’ said Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale Law student and co-founder of the advocacy group Know Your IX.”
Jezebel | March 25, 2015 “Other critics of the FratPAC lobbying effort pointed out to both HuffPo and Bloomberg that the group fails to recognize that campus proceedings are frequently about determining whether a student violated the school’s code of conduct, not whether they’re guilty of a crime. Know Your IX argues that colleges can handle sexual assault cases in ways that criminal proceedings cannot:
A criminal trial is brought against a defendant by the state – not the victim – in defense of the state’s interests. That means that what the survivor needs is sidelined. In contrast, schools, unlike criminal courts, are focused on the victim and are required to make sure he or she has everything they need to continue their education. Examples include academic accommodations, dorm and class transfers, and mental health support. While many observers assume victims’ first priority is retribution, that may be one (or none at all) of many valid needs – and the police just can’t get a survivor an extension on her English paper due the week after he or she was raped.”
Jezebel | March 23, 2015 “While many of the complaints originated with colleges’ mishandling of sexual assault cases, Title IX is much bigger than rape. ‘If a school knows or reasonably should know about discrimination, harassment or violence that is creating a ‘hostile environment’ for any student,” explains Know Your IX, “it must act to eliminate it, remedy the harm caused and prevent its recurrence.’ Title IX even applies to students who don’t directly experience sexual harassment or discrimination.”
ThinkProgress | March 16, 2015 “If my rapist had a gun at school, I have no doubt I would be dead,” Landen Gambill, one of the activists working with Know Your IX, wrote in a recent petition aimed at the politicians currently debating proposed campus carry bills. “That’s why I started this petition asking legislators in these states not to allow guns on campuses and put survivors like me in even more danger.”
The Oakland Post | March 16, 2015 “This 25-year-old Yale Law student gets around. She’s a writer for feministing.com, a founding member of Know Your IX, is currently working on the Feminist Utopia Project, has been published in big newspapers like the New York Times and The Guardian and has appeared on news networks like CNN and FOX News. As a writer for feministing.com, Brodsky tackles campus culture issues like rape, sexual harassment and violence. Her latest post is about new legislation that, if passed, would require colleges to report all gender-related violence to the authorities. ‘Consequently, if schools are required to pass along all reports to the cops, survivors may just report to no one at all, losing out on much-needed support services from their colleges,’ Brodsky writes. From reading her posts, one thing is clear: Brodsky has a passion, and she won’t be backing down anytime soon. Frank said that Brodsky is an important player in the feminism game and that she will be heard due to her passion. ‘Young girls like her bring renewed and vigorous action,’ Frank said.”
The Huffington Post | March 12, 2015 “College anti-rape advocates have joined a pro-gun control group to oppose National Rifle Association-backed lawmakers who say allowing students to carry firearms on college campuses will deter sexual assaults. Know Your IX, founded by student sexual assault survivors, is working with the gun control advocacy organization Everytown For Gun Safety to demand that pro-gun lawmakers stop “exploiting” the issue of campus rape to loosen gun laws.”
The American Constitution Society, The American Prospect, and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) | March 12, 2015
Al Jazeera America | March 7, 2015 “College anti-rape advocates have joined a pro-gun control group to oppose National Rifle Association-backed lawmakers who say allowing students to carry firearms on college campuses will deter sexual assaults. Know Your IX, founded by student sexual assault survivors, is working with the gun control advocacy organization Everytown For Gun Safety to demand that pro-gun lawmakers stop “exploiting” the issue of campus rape to loosen gun laws.”
USA Today | March 4, 2015 “The SaVE Act builds on what the letter began by taking the next step in preventing sexual assault on campus by requiring colleges and universities to have designated confidential sources for victims to report sexual misconduct. Those sources can help the victim learn his or her options for reporting and about support services available through the college. ‘What we’ve seen is a lot of schools have been forced to basically put measures in place that would actually support survivors,’ says Alyssa Peterson, policy organizer with Know Your IX, a student-led campaign to end sexual violence.”
CBS News | February 27, 2015 “Yale Law student Alexandra Brodsky helped start ‘Know Your IX,’ a nationwide advocacy group that helps survivors of sexual violence. She believes campus-carry laws won’t work.
‘We’re talking about why shouldn’t a woman be able to carry a gun to protect herself. But if you’re going to give her a gun, you’re also going to have to give rapists a gun, and I think we can all realize that’s a really bad idea,’ Brodsky said.”
Al Jazeera America | February 20, 2015
“‘By saying that guns will prevent rape, they’re putting the burden on the victims,’ reads the letter, which is co-sponsored by Know Your IX, an advocacy group that works against gender-based violence on campuses.
‘And they’re denying the indisputable fact that the vast majority of campus assaults are perpetrated by a partner, friend, or close acquaintance — the types of people around whom people would never think to carry a gun.'”
Inside Higher Ed | February 19, 2015 “More than a dozen student affairs associations, nonprofit organizations and victims’ advocate groups [including Know Your IX] are releasing an open letter today urging state legislators to reconsider pending bills in several states that the letter says would interfere with colleges’ efforts to prevent campus sexual assault.
The letter, written by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, was sent to lawmakers in all 50 states; in several states, legislatures are considering bills that would require college officials to refer all reports of sexual violence to law enforcement or that would give accused students judicial rights, such as allowing a lawyer to fully participate on their behalf, that are not available to accusers.”
The Guardian | February 11, 2015 “Maybe it’s that we’re not used to seeing gender justice in action, so it feels strange and new … and therefore off. Alexandra Brodsky, a co-director of anti-rape organization Know Your IX, compared the situation to someone who has unwittingly been living in an apartment with a tilted floor their whole life.
‘You become used to that, so if you wake up one day and your floor is level, it’s going to feel uneven,’ she told me.”
The Washington Post | January 27, 2015 “The Post also spoke with Dana Bolger, a 2014 graduate of Amherst College, who is co-founder of a group called Know Your IX. The name of the group refers to the 1972 law known as Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funding. The group’s stated mission is to empower students to stop sexual violence.
‘This bill will absolutely have a deterrent effect on survivors reporting’ sexual assaults, Bolger said of the Virginia measure. ‘Survivors tell me time and again that if their school had been required to hand their reports over to the police, they would never have come forward to anyone at all.'”
ThinkProgress | January 13, 2015 “Some student activists have raised concerns that, in order for Title IX investigations to be effective, Congress needs to change the way that the federal law gets enforced. Currently, if a school is found guilty of violating of Title IX, administrators typically come to a ‘voluntary resolution‘ with OCR that gives the college another chance to clean up its act. The advocates behind Know Your IX, a survivor-led group working to address campus violence, believe that’s often not enough of a punishment — and want schools to get slapped with a fine for their violations.
‘Many of us have filed Title IX complaints, which has been sort of the celebrated tool over the past year, and have been really displeased with the outcome,’ Alexandra Brodsky, one of the co-directors of Know Your IX, told ThinkProgress this past summer. ‘If we’re going to celebrate students for coming forward, we have to make sure that we, as a country, have their backs.'”
Vox | January 6, 2015 “Title IX gave victims ‘a legal framework for what otherwise could have been easily dismissed individual narratives,’ says Alexandra Brodsky, one of the founders of Know Your IX, an activist group on campus sexual assault.”
Women’s eNews | January 1, 2015 “After she learned that the federal education law, Title IX, entitled her to stay on campus [Know Your IX cofounder Dana Bolger] decided she needed to inform others, especially at this moment when the frequency of sexual assault and the impunity often provided by the campus administration has become the subject of forums, widespread protests and discussions on social media.
‘Once I learned I had that right I was able to stand up for myself and march into meetings with administrators and demand my place on campus,’ Bolger said.”
Tucson Weekly | December 31, 2014 “Because of increased attention and organizations like Know Your IX—a very cool organization that helps students deal with sexual assault at their colleges—there’s been a lot of pressure to get things right.
Yesterday was a big day in the direction of progress. The U.S. Department of Education announced it had found Harvard University and its Law School had fallen short in its campus sexual assault responsibilities. The ruling means that Harvard will have to redo it’s sexual harassment policies.”
The Columbus Dispatch | December 28, 2014 “The ‘Dear Colleague letter,’ as it has come to be known, spelled out that the Title IX prohibition against sex-based discrimination also applies to sexual harassment and violence. Colleges, the Education Department said, must respond to sexual-violence allegations in a ‘prompt, fair and impartial’ way. They also must take steps to prevent harassment and violence.
That makes Title IX a ‘powerful tool’ to lobby for change, said Dana Bolger, a graduate of Amherst College in western Massachusetts, who co-founded Know Your IX, a Title IX literacy and advocacy organization.”
RH Reality Check | December 19, 2014 “5. Know Your IX kept leading a grassroots movement to demand accountability on campus sexual assault. There is no one better to organize against oppression and injustice than those most directly affected, and the growing organization Know Your IX—a reference to Title IX, under which educational institutions receiving federal funding must address sexual assault as a civil rights obligation—does just that. The survivor-led and student-driven group, founded last year, remained at the forefront of efforts to inform students who have been sexually assaulted of their rights and demand that the Department of Education improve its enforcement of the law. These efforts played a clear role in a new national dialogue about campus sexual assault and the unveiling of the It’s On Us campaign by the Obama administration in September.”
Vox | December 15, 2014 “There isn’t any single program or law that can magically fix rape culture. However, advocacy campaigns run by groups like Know Your IX and Hollaback have brought attention to the problems fueling rape culture and have helped women to organize in opposition to it. Because rape culture derives some of its power from unconscious biases and hidden assumptions, simply drawing attention to it is a step towards changing it.”
Vice Sports | December 15, 2014 “Over the last 18 months, the problem of campus sexual assault has received unprecedented national attention, with investigative journalists looking into a range of policies at schools from the University of Kansas to Columbia University. In addition to increased media coverage—highlighting grim statistics such as one in five women being the victim of an attempted or completed sexual assault during college—advocacy groups like Know Your IX and End Rape On Campus have pushed the issue to the forefront, helping assault survivors file federal complaints under Title IX with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and sue universities directly.”
The Guardian | December 15, 2014 “Wagatwe Wanjuki, a writer and activist associated with Know Your IX, an anti-sexual violence group focused on college students, isn’t sold on Edwards’ arguments. ‘The best way to stop rape is prevention and stopping the culture that normalizes rape,’ she explained.
‘Bystander intervention is great, but afterwards, the rapist still exists and he’s still out there in the world.'”
Inside Higher Ed | December 12, 2014 “‘Because of pervasive myths about who ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ be a rape victim, male survivors often aren’t provided the same remedies and protections in schools as female survivors,’ said Dana Bolger, co-founder of [Know Your IX]. ‘These are protections they deserve and are owed under the law.'”
The Huffington Post | December 12, 2014 “Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale University law student and co-founder of Know Your IX, recalled similar pushback from alumni when she helped file a complaint against her school in 2011. She said some complained of constantly hearing about the issue at cocktail parties.
‘I remember thinking, huh, that’s interesting. I resent having been sexually assaulted,’ Brodsky said. ‘I’ll just never believe a school’s reputation should be prioritized over the safety and equality of its students — which sounds uncontroversial, but was very much counter to what we heard from classmates and alumni.'”
The Washington Post | December 7, 2014 “Reporting on sexual assaults on college campuses is particularly difficult. The explicit violence in the experience Jackie relayed makes her story something of an outlier, said Dana Bolger, founding co-director of Know Your IX, an organization that works to end campus rape. More often, sexual assaults in college occur in situations where the level of consent is likely to be called into question.
‘Rape in college looks like rape by a friend, by a partner, rape when someone is incapacitated or unconscious,’ Bolger said. ‘All of these are real experiences of violence that don’t look like what we traditionally point to as violence.’”
The Chronicle of Higher Education | December 7, 2014 “‘If Rolling Stone feels like it should’ve conducted its research more fully, it should’ve done that,’ Dana Bolger, a founding co-director of Know Your IX, a victims’-rights group, wrote in an email to The Chronicle. ‘But throwing Jackie under the bus for its journalistic mistakes is not only unfair to her but to survivors everywhere. Victims were already met with skepticism when they spoke out. Who’s going to possibly want to speak up now?'”
Buzzfeed | December 6, 2014 “My decision a year ago to join Know Your IX, an activist group committed to ending gender-based violence on college campuses, was borne out of the same urge to instigate change and reveal the truth of that violence. And that, too, has become thoroughly entwined in my identity as a journalist. I profile journalists and activists for Know Your IX and write guides for journalists on how to ethically report on gender-based violence; I write about sexual assault for the alt-weekly I now work for. For me, journalism and activism are two sides of the same (perhaps foolish) ideal: bringing the truth to light so that it may help others.”
MSNBC | December 5, 2014 “Reporting on gender-based violence is always tricky. I help run [Know Your IX] a national campaign by and for student survivors, and I know classic symptoms of trauma include memory loss and inconsistent narratives, presenting challenges to journalists. Plus, the stakes for reporting are so much higher when confirming a story that may trigger violent retaliation against a survivor.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education | December 4, 2014 “‘These stories really capture the public’s imagination and bring much-needed attention to the issue,’ says Alexandra Brodsky, founding co-director of Know Your IX, a victims’ rights group. ‘But there’s clearly a cost to that. When members of a university community start to expect these really gruesome details, it makes the reality of violence in most other cases pale in comparison. And that’s a shame.'”
The Huffington Post | December 2, 2014 “For example, Know Your IX co-founder Alexandra Brodsky explained in a recent Washington Post op-ed how it could cost a survivor thousands in expenses to break a lease and move away from an abusive ex. One woman, who Brodsky referred to as Allison, essentially lost a semester at her college and was denied a tuition refund, what Brodsky called ‘a $19,000 fine for victimhood.'”
Rolling Stone | December 1, 2014 “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at educational institutions that receive federal funding, and a 2011 letter from the Department of Education requires institutions to take “immediate and effective steps to end sexual violence and sexual harassment.” Thanks to organizations such as Know Your IX, which educates survivors about their Title IX rights, and End Rape on Campus, which helps survivors file federal Title IX complaints with the Department of Education, 85 American universities are currently under investigation for the way they handle gender-based violence cases.”
Ms. Magazine | November 19, 2014 “Know Your IX, Black Women’s Blueprint, the #CarryThatWeight Movement, and End Rape on Campus were all honored for their work to end campus sex assault at colleges and universities nationwide.”
Rhode Island Monthly | November 3, 2014 “In 2013, a group of student survivors founded Know Your IX to educate rape survivors about their rights and advocate for better federal laws and enforcement. For example, currently, the DOE’s only penalty for Title IX violations is to remove all federal funding, a weapon so financially devastating it’s never been used.
‘These complaints almost always terminate in finding of no wrongdoing or a voluntary agreement promising to do better,’ says cofounder Dana Bolger, who became an activist after an Amherst College dean advised her to leave the campus until her attacker graduated. ‘In the same way campus administrators are telling victims to be patient, the DOE says wait for this school to do better. We are putting pressure on them to make those rights a reality.'”
Waging Nonviolence | November 1, 2014 “Columbia students, however, are by no means the first to expose universities’ mistreatment of survivors. Wednesday’s actions are the latest spike in a national, multi-year effort to change the way colleges deal with sexual assault. Organizers — working as individual campus groups and with national networks like Know Your IX and Ending Rape on Campus — have kicked off federal investigations at over 55 colleges and universities, according to a list released by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights last May. The schools represented on the list speak to the widespread nature of the problem — from Ivy League universities like Dartmouth and Princeton, to elite liberal arts colleges, to massive state institutions like Penn State University and Ohio State University. Since May, the number of schools being investigated has jumped from 55 to 79.”
The Washington Post | October 29, 2014 “But the reality on campuses is less ground-shaking, said Alexandra Brodsky, a second-year law student at Yale University and co-founder of Know Your IX. ‘”Yes means yes” is not going to revolutionize everything,’ she said. ‘It’s actually a really low bar: We want people to have sex they’re really excited about. That’s mostly confusing to people who want to have sex with incapacitated women.'”
The Huffington Post | October 21, 2014 “Callisto was developed with input from the anti-sexual assault advocacy and activist groups End Rape On Campus, Futures Without Violence, Know Your IX, Surviving in Numbers, the Clery Center, Faculty Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.”
The Huffington Post | October 17, 2014 “Know Your IX embarked on the campaign of identifying schools that failed to share dating violence reports to emphasize that the gender equity law Title IX covers more than just sexual assault and harassment.
‘This Campus SaVE data is such a perfect place to start,’ said Know Your IX co-founder Dana Bolger, ‘because publishing the number of reports a school receives of dating violence and stalking is so easy — it’s such low-hanging fruit, it’s such an easy ask. It’s absurd that schools are not following it.'”
Slate | October 14, 2014 “Perhaps more troubling is that the statistics at some schools that do report are clearly all wrong. Dana Bolger of Know Your IX explains at Feministing:
Still other colleges (including my own alma mater Amherst College, which disclosed 0 reports of dating violence and 1 report of domestic violence; and the University of Mississippi, which disclosed 0 reports of dating violence and 9 reports of domestic violence on a campus of some 20,000 students) are publishing numbers so low, it’s clear the school has made the process of reporting violence so burdensome, confusing, or unknown that survivors don’t feel safe reporting at all. (In general — and perhaps counterintuitively — the lower a school’s reporting numbers, the less safe the campus; in contrast, higher reporting numbers suggest a school is taking survivors seriously, prioritizing students’ safety over the institution’s reputation, and making the reporting process known, accessible, and trusted.)”
MTV Act | October 11, 2014 “The topic of sexual assault on college campus has been on the minds of millions these past few weeks. As the news comes and goes, however, there are several girls who are working tirelessly to make sure students around the country know about their Title IX rights. If you’re in college or know someone who is, make sure you let them know about Know Your IX.”
CBS St. Louis | October 9, 2014 “Advocate and Yale University law student Alexandra Brodsky cautions, the ultimate decision on what steps to take should still remain with the student, ‘Most of the survivors that we have spoken to out of hundreds said that they would be less likely to report to their school if that would necessitate some sort of police involvement. So I think we have to be clear that everyone is working together if they want them to work together but that that decision is ultimately up to them.'”
El País | October 6, 2014 “También han surgido movimientos espontáneos. Es el caso de Know Your IX, una web de apoyo, contacto y asesoramiento fundada por Dana Bolger y Alexandra Brodsky.”
NPR | October 1, 2014 “In the past year, [John] Kelly has testified before the U.S. Senate and spoken at the White House. Earlier this year, [they were] the student alternate member on a committee of educators, government officials and advocates who were chosen to write the regulations for implementing the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.”
Newsweek | September 29, 2014 “The bill ‘is a significant victory for survivors and students,’ Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, a survivor-run campaign to end campus sexual violence tells Newsweek in an email. The group educates students of their rights under Title IX, which calls for gender equity in every education program that receives federal funding.”
RH Reality Check | September 24, 2014 “‘I know that the Internet has been one of the biggest reasons why the campus sexual assault movement even made it to the White House,’ campus sexual assault activist and writer Wagatwe Wanjuki told RH Reality Check. (Wanjuki is a former RHRC employee.) ‘If it wasn’t for that, who knows how much longer we would have had to wait to have the president acknowledge that college rape is an issue and we need to do something about it.'”
Inside Higher Ed | September 22, 2014 “Dana Bolger, the founding co-director of Know Your Title IX, said she worries that the administration is moving onto the ‘next step’ before finishing the previous one. While the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is still investigating nearly 80 colleges and universities for how they handle sexual assault investigations, Bolger said the federal government has not done a good enough job sanctioning institutions.”
Bustle | September 21, 2014 “After her grades suffered in the aftermath of the assault (not unusual for survivors and especially for those who don’t get support from their schools), Wanjuki was eventually forced to leave the university without graduating, even though her grades still qualified her for graduation.
Since then, Wanjuki has been outspoken against sexual assault, and is involved in groups such as Know Your IX. She also started the hashtag #SurvivorPrivilege in response to George Will’s Washington Post column about campus sexual assault.”
ThinkProgress | September 19, 2014 “Sexual assault prevention activists have long argued that addressing the issue of campus rape involves this type of cultural approach. ‘Don’t be friends with rapists,’ Alexandra Brodsky, one of the founders of Know Your IX, a survivor-led group working to address sexual assault, argued in Feministing earlier this year. ‘My honest belief is that social ostracism could do more than our current laws. My senior year, I saw a known repeat offender question his treatment of women for the first time because he wasn’t invited to a big party thrown by one of his victim’s friends.'”
RH Reality Check | September 18, 2014 “Last year, activists Alexandra Brodsky and Dana Bolger, along with a number of other students, started the survivor-run education and resource website ‘Know Your IX’; that’s really had a huge impact on college campuses. An offshoot of that was ED Act Now, through which students got hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition to pressure the Department of Education to increase its enforcement efforts. That’s been a huge impetus for the Department of Education to enforce Title IX.”
MSNBC | September 18, 2014 “Bringing the spotlight of the White House to sexual assault is a good start, advocates say, but more attention is needed on issues like dating violence and stalking as well. ‘What’s needed is a focus on how to recognize and dismantle the power structures that enact and perpetuate violence in the first place,’ Dana Bolger, founding co-director of Know Your IX told msnbc in an email. ‘Being a proactive bystander should mean it’s on you to learn how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship and connect a survivor with support services. Or if you attend a school that doesn’t expel repeat rapists, it’s on you to call out your school for that and hold it accountable.'”
The Guardian | September 17, 2014 “The rules are so disproportionate, they could be a violation of Title IX, the federal law that ensures non-discrimination in educational environments. Alexandra Brodsky, co-founder of Know Your IX, told me, ‘If women are missing out on opportunities to learn [by being pulled out of class], that looks like a violation to me.'”
The Washington Post | September 16, 2014 “Princeton is only the most recent of many of these institutions to revamp its sexual misconduct policies, underscoring that change, unfortunately, has been largely reactive rather than proactive (think Amherst College, Columbia University, Dartmouth College and Harvard). For others involved in this fight, that means holding their respective campuses accountable and supporting and sharing student survivors’ stories, as Know Your IX, a national ‘survivor-run, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence,’ has successfully done all over the country.”
Democracy Now! | September 16, 2014 “AMY GOODMAN: Columbia University is under federal investigation, along with scores of other universities around the United States. And, Zoe, you’re very active on this national level. You’re an organizer with the ED Act Now campaign, as well as Know Your IX. Explain what these are. And what does it mean for your campus, to your university, to be under investigation?
ZOE RIDOLFI–STARR: So, Know Your IX is a survivor-led, student-driven campaign that works to empower students to end sexual violence on college campuses, and ED Act Now is sort of the organizing branch of that group. So we’re pushing for improved policies at both campus, state and federal levels around these issues of sexual violence on campuses.”
ThinkProgress | September 10, 2014 “‘I don’t rule out the possibility that there could be an effective anti-rape effort that would take some sort of business model. That being said, it makes me really uncomfortable that there could be a tool that would only be accessible to some people depending on their ability to pay,’ Alexandra Brodsky, one of the founders and current co-directors of Know Your IX, a survivor-led group working to address campus sexual assault, said.”
Cosmopolitan | August 28, 2014 “‘A school that has adopted an affirmative consent standard is more likely to understand that sex should be an act of joy for everyone involved and that all of their students are sexual agents,’ says Alexandra Brodsky, co-founder and director of Know Your IX, an organization that combats sexual assault and educates students on their rights under Title IX. ‘Not all survivors are women but most are, and schools that have other standards are seeing their female students as gatekeepers to sex who sometimes regret making the wrong decision, as opposed to sexually autonomous people who have preferences and desires, and sometimes that desire is not to have sex.'”
NPR | August 26, 2014 “After finishing her degree, [Dana] Bolger co-founded Know Your IX with Alexandra Brodsky of Yale University, to educate students about their rights. The group has a growing network of campus activists, including [Chandini] Jha at Georgetown. It connects assault survivors to pro bono attorneys. It staged protests at the Department of Education. That led to meetings with White House officials and members of Congress.”
The New York Times | August 26, 2014 “Ms. Culp-Resser spoke with Alexandra Brodsky, a founder and co-director of Know Your IX, a ‘survivor-run, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence,’ according to its website. ‘One of the reasons we get so excited about these really simple fixes is because it makes us feel like the problem itself is really simple,’ Ms. Brodsky explains. ‘But I really wish that people were funneling all of this ingenuity and funding and interest into new ways to stop people from perpetuating violence, as opposed to trying to personally avoid it so that the predator in the bar rapes someone else.'”
ThinkProgress | August 25, 2014 “According to Alexandra Brodsky, one of the founders and current co-directors of Know Your IX, a survivor-led group working to address campus sexual assault, well-intentioned products like anti-rape nail polish can actually end up fueling victim blaming. Any college students who don’t use the special polish could open themselves up to criticism for failing to do everything in their power to prevent rape.”
Ms. Magazine | August 8, 2014 “In the past year, survivor-activists and allies have effectively put sexual violence on the national agenda, spurring White House, congressional, and state-level policy action. Movement leaders have worked tirelessly to make this happen, namely, Wendy Murphy, [Know Your IX founding co-director] Alexandra Brodsky, [KYIX alum] Wagatwe Wanjuki, Annie E. Clark, [KYIX alum] Laura Dunn, Andrea Pino, S. Daniel Carter, and [KYIX founding co-director] Dana Bolger. These leaders have created awareness and momentum through hands-on survivor assistance, lobbying, petitions and the creation of new organizations (e.g., Know Your IX, End Rape on Campus, and SurvJustice.”
The Huffington Post | August 1, 2014 “Know Your IX, a survivor advocacy group that has worked with Karasek, said in a statement Thursday that the HALT Act would be needed to codify ‘openness’ and ‘ensure continued transparency in future administrations.'”
McClatchy Washington Bureau | July 31, 2014 “Under the measure, schools that violate Title IX, which bans gender discrimination in education activities and programs supported by federal funds, would be fined up to 1 percent of their budgets for each deviation from the federal law… Know Your IX, a student rights group, had filed a petition earlier this year that called on Congress to ‘give teeth’ to the Department of Education’s enforcement of Title IX.”
The Huffington Post | July 30, 2014 “‘It’s really clear from this bill that the senators listened to the survivors that they talked to,’ Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale Law Student and co-founding director of the survivor advocacy group Know Your IX, told The Huffington Post. Brodsky, working with an advocacy group called ED Act Now, has long called for tougher penalties for colleges that botch rape cases.
‘It really shows this law is meant to respond to the on-ground experiences of students,’ she added.”
ProPublica | July 29, 2014 “So many sexual assault victims have filed complaints that there are now 71 schools under federal investigation for Title IX violations across the country. knowyourix.org, a site set up by advocates, lays out how you can file a complaint.”
ThinkProgress | July 28, 2014 “Alexandra Brodsky and Dana Bolger — the founders and current co-directors of Know Your IX, a survivor-led group working to address campus violence — want to reform the enforcement process for the law that forms the foundation of their group’s name. They want the colleges that fall short of Title IX to be slapped with a fine.”
Mashable | July 17, 2014 “‘The report really confirms what survivors have been saying for years now. That essentially universities are failing all across the board, from prevention services to investigation to reporting to disciplinary procedures to even having the personnel they’re required under law to have,’ says Dana Bolger, founder and co-director of Know Your IX, a student organization against sexual violence.”
MSNBC | July 16, 2014 “Dana Bolger, a founding co-director of Know Your IX, a student-led campaign to combat sexual violence did not attend the summit, and questioned how a conference held at a school with such a terrible track record on sexual violence could be taken seriously.
‘Having that university host a conference at which very few to zero student survivor activists spoke says to me that Dartmouth isn’t particularly interested in changing life on the ground for students,’ Bolger said.”
Ledger-Enquirer | July 16, 2014 “‘Schools are realizing that this is something that they have to stop (messing) up because it’s looking so bad for them,’ said John Kelly, special projects coordinator at Know Your IX, a student rights organization focused on the federal law that bans gender discrimination on campus, including sexual harassment and assault. ‘It’s not going to bode well.'”
All In with Chris Hayes | July 14, 2014
MSNBC | July 9, 2014 “Policy is part of it, ‘but as we move forward,’ Bolger said, ‘it’s important we don’t lose sight of the difference between policy and practice. One of the common things we see schools do in response to public pressure is change their policies – which is a very visible way to perform their concern – without actually changing their practices in the day to day.'”
McClatchy DC | July 9, 2014 “Know Your IX, a group working to help students know their rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits all forms of sex discrimination in education, is urging the senators to revise the law so that schools can be fined for violations regarding sexual assaults.”
The Nation | July 8, 2014 “We wish we lived in a country where we could appeal to schools’ moral compasses—but US colleges and universities have proven time and again that they won’t take sexual violence, and equal access to education for all students, seriously, until they have more at stake. We need to speak to them in the twin languages they understand: money and reputation. Armed with the power to levy fines, the OCR could ensure that it is more expensive for schools to violate survivors’ rights than to respect them.”
The Daily Beast | July 3, 2014 “‘I think we can forget what a month or a semester makes in a student’s lifetime, so that’s why it’s imperative we address it quickly,’ said Dana Bolger, founding co-director at Know Your IX. ‘Every day that goes by is a day a survivor has to sit in the dining hall with [his or her] perpetrator.'”
The Huffington Post | June 27, 2014 “‘It’s clear that this methodology of endless second chances doesn’t work,’ Brodsky told The Huffington Post. ‘We’re seeing the same schools under investigation again and again, little changed because of the OCR’s first intervention. Voluntary resolution agreements devoid of sanctions for schools are the equivalent of the “slap on the wrist” book report for student rapists.'”
The Connecticut Mirror | June 27, 2014 “‘Some people want vindication in the courts. Some just want an extension on their English papers. Some people just don’t want to see their rapist in the dorm the next day,’ said Yale law student Alexandra Brodsky.”
Ronan Farrow Daily | June 27, 2014
The Washington Post | June 23, 2014 “The choice on whether to proceed in court should be left up to the survivor. ‘Some people want public vindication through the courts,’ said Yale University law student Alexandra Brodsky, an organizer of Know Your IX, which aims to educate U.S. college students in about their rights under Title IX. ‘Some people just want an extension on their English paper, or to not have to see their rapist in their dorm the following day.'”
The Huffington Post | June 23, 2014 “Yale University law student Alexandra Brodsky, another panel participant, noted that warnings allow students to gauge whether a school underreports sexual assaults in periodic disclosures of crime reports.
‘It’s really hard to file a Clery complaint [against a university], because you’re dependent on your school’s information to know whether your school’s information is correct or not,’ Brodsky said.”
The Boston Globe | June 11, 2014 “Since then, [Bolger] has become an activist, helping to launch Know Your IX, a Web-based campaign that aims to educate students about Title IX, a law mandating gender equality on campuses. She is thrilled to see other alumni speaking out. ‘When you’re fighting against a power as big as American higher ed you need all of the help you can get.'”
The Guardian | June 10, 2014 “‘Survivors shy away from processes that are confusing, with lots of hoops to jump through,’ said Dana Bolger, founding co-director of Know Your IX. Bolger also recommend disclosing what sanction perpetrators will face because, ‘If the sanctions are meaningful, survivors will see that and feel that coming forward is worthwhile.'”