In Non-COVID-19 Related News, the Trump Administration Just Made Things Harder for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Because, Ya Know, It Was So Easy Before

In yet another example of how things can somehow be worse than they seem, even in the midst of a global pandemic that is killing Americans at unprecedented rates, Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education just implemented new Title IX regulations that, if enforced, would make it harder for survivors of sexual assault at school or on campus to come forward.

The new regulations will allow for direct cross-examination of alleged victims of sexual assault, according to Vox. Under the Obama administration, direct cross examination was discouraged because it could be “traumatic or intimating” for a survivor to have to confront her attacker, or attackers. Now, under the rules that were just implemented, lawyers and the accused can directly question potential victims.

It also makes it harder for schools to be held accountable for sexual assault, and changes the definition of sexual harassment from “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” to the word salad definition of “unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.” Essentially, changing the definition in this way makes it so that victims would only be able to bring forward a viable claim if they were unable to come to school or be on campus at all after the act.

Naturally, advocates for victims of sexual assault are less than keen on these new rules, as they seem custom built to make it harder for victims to come forward, and seem to actively discourage victims coming forward at all. The entire point of Title IX is to prevent discrimination based on sex. This will likely have the net effect of silencing victims while protecting college universities.

If you’ve ever wondered how a sitting President gets to the Oval Office with several damning accusations of sexual assault against him, and how Democrats are lining up behind a man who, at the very least, has sexually harassed several women and at worst has committed sexual assault against at least one, this is how. Betsy DeVos is a woman who is working on behalf of men in positions of power to undermine the students that her department is meant to protect. She is complicit in allowing sexual assaulters to get off lighter, and in some ways, we all are complicit in enabling people like this, by picking and choosing when we accept allegations and when we do not.

The Department of Education insists these rules are needed to protect the falsely accused, even though false reports of sexual assault are exceedingly rare. “This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process,” Captain Phasma DeVos said in a statement taking the side of the alleged accused rather than alleged victims.

And to tick one more onto the never ending list of petty, this rule is largely only changing because Donald Trump desperately wants to roll back Obama-era anti-discrimination policies, like allowing transgender students to use the bathroom they identify with and protecting disabled students.

It’s just a reminder that as awful as the federal governments response to COVID-19 has been, those who have been entrusted with power by Donald Trump are still working to undermine women, children, students, the disabled, and yes, even Obamacare is still under attack. While the rest of us stay-at-home and pray to whatever deities that they do or do not believe in that COVID-19 does not wipe out more people, Trump, DeVos and company are getting back to the business of doing the only thing they really know how to do;

Fucking over average Americans.

About KC Complains A Lot 135 Articles
KC Complains A Lot is another refugee from Deadspin. He enjoys writing and not caving to pressure from herbs.


  1. Preface: Obama wasn’t the perfect president. I did not pay attention to any of his appointments and I’m sure there were ghouls in his administration.

    With that out of the way, Obama’s presidency, even for his lack of progressivism, opened the door for progressive policies.

    Conservatives were chomping at the bit to undo Obama’s legacy from the moment he was elected. It gets so petty that they rolled back a rule that didn’t allow outside, single use plastic bottles to be brought in to national parks. The goal is to cause as much harm as possible and to protect profit margins. They don’t want to spend precious tuition dollars having to investigate sexual assault and to them anyone who puts themselves out in society is asking for it.

    Among other reasons for changing this rule, it feels like they’re intending to give hetero men more power on campus because they feel with 60% of college students being women, women have forgotten their place.

    • Also, remember that Cruella DeVos favors private, for-profit schools over public, so that rich people can rake in more cash and poor people get screwed out of an education. Why is this germane to this subject? Sexual assault victims frequently bring suits against the school if the school was negligent. Intimidate the victims and the lawsuits go away.

      • …back on that RIP site in kinja we us d to just cut & paste that sort of thing in at the bottom of the post ATL…or if that didn’t seem like a good fit run off a quick & dirty post “courtesy of: so&so” then the comment text for correct with the link & throw it up as a post of its own

        …in principle it’s be nice to do that sort of thing some more?

  2. …changes the definition of sexual harassment from “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” to the word salad definition of “unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.”

    wtf? that surely can’t last? that is obscene. so severe that a 3rd party, not the victim, would determine that the victim is denied access their education? so, if a reasonable person (whatever is this) says you can continue your education there is no sexual harassment?

    wait, aren’t there sexual harassment laws in place? that bitch can’t change those? I must be missing something here, yes? what do those rules apply to?

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