National LGBTQ Task Force Response to DeVos Action on Title IX

WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: The following statement can be attributed to Stacey Long Simmons, Director of Advocacy and Action, National LGBTQ Task Force:

“Today’s announcement by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration to revise guidance on campus sexual assault points to a reversal of needed protections, especially for LGBTQ students and students with disabilities. Shame on DeVos and the Trump-Pence Administration for yet another example of their utter disregard for those who are most marginalized.

Revising the guidance is likely to leave schools with less clarity and places transgender students and all students who have experienced sexual violence in much greater jeopardy. The Secretary’s actions are particularly alarming for LGBTQ students: bisexual women are almost twice as likely to experience intimate partner violence than heterosexual women, and are more than twice as likely to experience intimate partner sexual assault. Nearly half (47%) of transgender people experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. On campus, LGBTQ students and students of color are at least twice as likely to be sexually assaulted or harassed, compared to their non-LGBTQ and white colleagues, and may face discrimination or harassment when reporting those crimes. Students with disabilities are among the most impacted, yet reports by students with disabilities are often ignored.

There is simply no excuse for these harmful policy changes. We call on DeVos to leave the guidance unchanged and to ensure that transgender students, and students who have experienced sexual violence, have the support they need to ensure they are able to exercise their rights on campus.”

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Contact: Sarah Massey 202 639-6308