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Sexual Assaults on College Campuses: When to call your personal injury attorney

The statistics are startling: 19% of undergraduate women have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college; 95% of sexual attacks go unreported–sexual assaults are the most unreported crime; 90% of women attacked know the person who raped them; 43% of college-aged men admitted to using coercive behavior, including physical aggression, to have sex, but did not admit it was rape.

Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney points to a study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, which published its findings in 2010. The disturbing statistic of one in five female students being sexually assaulted while in college was juxtaposed with an equally disturbing fact: campus judicial proceedings are often confusing, secretive, involve lengthy delays, and present institutional barriers that often lead to dropped complaints, or few consequences for an assailant even if he is found “responsible.”In response to this study and many complaints from sexual assault survivors on college campuses nationwide, in April of 2011, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office issued guidance on how schools must respond to student allegations of rape. The guidance on response and enforcement led to changes at dozens of schools nationally.

Despite efforts like the above, sexual assaults on college campuses continue to be epidemic. Frustrated students who suffered sexual assaults have turned to file Federal Complaints alleging violations of Title IX Civil Rights Law, and the Clery Act, which established strict rules on reporting of campus crime. In the past couple of years, complaints alleging violations of Title IX and the Clery Act have been made against such elite schools as Swarthmore College, Occidental College, Yale, Wesleyan, Amherst, and the University of North Carolina.

The national outrage over this issue finally reached the White House, which issued guidelines in early May 2014 on how to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses and on how to deal with assault allegations when made. Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney notes that the guidelines include surveys of students regarding sexual assaults and “campus climate” issues; a website titled to support survivors and track enforcement; promote bystander intervention; provide trained victim advocates for emergency and ongoing support; a PSA from President Obama; and recommendations to college administrators on how to handle reported assaults. As Vice-President Biden summed up the intent of the guidelines: “[Colleges and Universities] can no longer turn a blind eye…[they] need to provide survivors with more support, need to bring perpetrators to more justice, and need colleges and universities to step up.”

If student victims feel that perpetrators are not receiving sufficient justice, they could hire their Denver Personal Injury Attorney to sue the college or university for negligence for failing to prevent or protect against a foreseeable crime. Colleges and universities have a legal duty to warn students of known dangers and to provide reasonable protection. Arguably, with one out of five college women being attacked, the crime of sexual assault is foreseeable. Since the crime is foreseeable, the college or university can be held liable for not providing sufficient protection against it.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and believe that the perpetrator has not received due justice, contact Jordan Levine, your Denver Personal Injury Attorney at Levine Law.

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