SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to U.S Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ efforts to weaken protections for students against sexual assault, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, has introduced a measure calling on the Trump administration to create policies that curb harassment and assault on college campuses.
“Sexual assault and harassment are pervasive issues on college campuses across our state, and any attempt to weaken protections for students is detrimental to their safety and well-being,” Mussman said. “Secretary DeVos’ proposal reduces a schools responsibility to address harassment and assault and provide support to victims.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in five women and one in 18 men experience sexual assault while attending college. Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, has helped increase reporting of assault on campuses and held schools accountable to ensure complaints were handled quickly and appropriately. DeVos’ proposal allows schools to escape liability if they do not effectively respond to instances of assault and limits a student’s ability to report harassment or abuse. Mussman’s House Resolution 209 urges DeVos and the Department of Education to pursue policies that reflect concerns raised by law enforcement and create safe environments for victims to file reports.
“Title IX has helped colleges and universities protect students from sexual assault and has given victims the opportunity to report assault in an environment that is most comfortable for them,” Mussman said. “We must act to ensure that these protections are not weakened, and that schools and students still have the resources they need to combat sexual harassment and assault.”
For more information, please contact Rep. Mussman’s constituent service office at 847-923-9104 or StateRepMussman@gmail.com.