This email contains information about sexual assault that may be upsetting to survivors.
When I was a sophomore at Tufts, I started dating my ex, who was also a student there. During our two year relationship, my ex physically and sexually assaulted me multiple times. During our senior year, we were at a senior pub night sponsored by the school, and he started screaming at me, threatening to kill me. He was kicked out of the event, and I went with him, feeling like it was my fault. Then he physically assaulted me again.
That was the moment I decided enough was enough, and I went to Tufts to report what happened. At first, Tufts was supportive, but when I filed an official complaint against my ex, they told me there was nothing they could do. When I spoke out about what happened to me, Tufts expelled me.
What Tufts did to me was in violation of federal law, but the Department of Education — which investigates Title IX violations — dragged its feet for four years before saying there “wasn’t enough evidence” to sanction Tufts for what it did to me.
But all that could change now that President Obama has convened a special task force to address sexual violence on college campuses. I started a petition on Change.org calling on the task force to require transparent investigations with serious consequences for cases like mine. Will you click here to sign?
The Department of Education has a shameful history of holding colleges accountable for violating federal law regarding sexual assault survivors. In fact, one study asserted that nearly two thirds of colleges and universities don’t comply with federal law about preventing sexual assault and protecting survivors.
Yet despite dozens of complaints like mine filed every year, the Department of Education has only ever found one school to be in noncompliance with the law.
The good news is that collective action can make a difference. Last summer, I worked with other survivors to start a Change.org petition that prompted President Obama to convene this new taskforce — that’s unprecedented progress. And now we have a meeting at the White House on Friday, February 21, where we’ll deliver your signature to administration officials.
It’s hard for me to think about all of the young women who, like me, had to drop out of school and had our lives changed forever because of sexual violence. But I can do something about it now. And with your help, we can make sure what happened to me never happens again.
New York, NY
Petition by ED ACT NOW
Posted on Change.org