FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2020
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team
National Council of Jewish Women Statement on New Title IX Rule
This week, the Department of Education released a new Title IX rule that will go into effect August 14 governing schools’ responses to sexual assault and harassment. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) opposed the rule when proposed, as it rolls back protections for survivors by significantly narrowing the definition of sexual harassment and limiting the cases for which schools are responsible.
NCJW CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement:
“This new Title IX rule shows a shocking disregard for survivors of sexual violence and will serve neither victims nor the schools they attend, functioning rather to shield perpetrators and render America’s campuses less safe for anyone spending any time on them. Having worked with hundreds of college student survivors, I can say, without hesitation, that these changes take America, its college campuses, and its students backward, tilting the scales away from those most in need of justice.
“The requirement that schools allow direct cross-examination of victims will have an immediate silencing effect, as victims understand that coming forward will inevitably give assailants and harassers an opportunity to violate them a second time. The new, narrower definition of sexual harassment and assault and revised standard of evidence guidelines will not protect vulnerable students but will instead provide comfort and cover to those who seek to harass and assault.
“Every student has the right to live free of violence. Jewish history and the teachings of our tradition call on us to bear witness, to speak up, and to stand up on behalf of all those who are vulnerable. Our Torah instructs us not to stand by while our neighbors are harmed. And our people’s experiences of suffering call on us to lead toward a society in which all of us use our power responsibly.
“NCJW will always stand with and believe survivors. Despite this setback, we will continue to work with Congress to advance policies that ensure equal access to education for all students, including those who experience sexual harassment and assault.”
About the National Council of Jewish Women
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Learn more at ncjw.org.