Houston Matters

What Could Colleges Do Better in Handling and Preventing Sexual Assault?

This month, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a list of colleges being investigated for possible Title IX violations concerning how they handled complaints of sexual violence and harassment. Most of us are familiar with Title IX’s provisions for equal opportunities for women within college athletics, but the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis […]

This month, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a list of colleges being investigated for possible Title IX violations concerning how they handled complaints of sexual violence and harassment. Most of us are familiar with Title IX’s provisions for equal opportunities for women within college athletics, but the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program that receives federal funding, also has requirements for the handling of incidents of sexual violence. The list released this month is – as the Department of Education puts it – “the first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review.” Among those campuses are at least two Texas schools – Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas Pan-American.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we examine universities’ responsibilities in handling sexual assault claims, how officials proceed with such investigations, what resources are available for Houston-area students, and the general attitude towards sexual assault on college campuses. We welcome your questions for representatives of Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston, and the Houston Area Women’s Center.

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