For parents of college students and college students themselves, the issue of sexual assault on campus is a serious matter. Many students and parents in Indiana are rightly confused about how Indiana University handles sexual assault allegations through university disciplinary procedures and federal Title IX regulations governing campus sexual assault and violence. Despite widespread awareness and publicity about sexual assault issues, cases seem to be increasing.
IU Sexual Assaults on the Rise
The Herald-Times recently reported on sexual assaults on Indiana University campuses, noting that cases are on the rise for 2021. From August to mid-November, the paper reported:
- Twenty-five rape accusations,
- Sixteen reports of sexual battery, and
- Forty-one total sexual assault incidents.
These incidents happened at IU’s Bloomington campus but don’t include reports made directly to the IU police and not reported to campus authorities. In response, IU’s Panhellenic Council Association and Interfraternity Council suspended fraternity and sorority activity interaction through the end of the semester.
Students and campus groups also raised concerns about a lack of transparency in reporting sexual assaults on campus. In response, the university’s spokesperson indicated that the school is looking for ways to provide more useful information about campus sexual assault without violating victims’ privacy or running afoul of federal laws such as the Clery Act or the Violence Against Women Act.
Together, Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) overlap, affecting how colleges report sexual assaults on campus. The Clery Act requires colleges to keep and report information about crime on and near their campuses. The Act also contains a Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to be transparent about educational programming, victims’ rights, and campus disciplinary processes. The Act is named after Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986, sparking a nationwide backlash about unreported crime on college campuses. The VAWA provides protections for women who are victims of campus sexual assault, gives them legal standing to prosecute offenders, and provides funding for rape crisis counseling and support.
Hire an Experienced Indiana Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love faces sexual assault charges in Indiana, this is a serious matter, and you need experienced legal assistance. The skilled defense attorneys at Razumich & Associates can help. Give us a call at 317-983-5333, email us at [email protected], or contact us through our website.