Feminists are freaking out about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s Thursday announcement that the Department of Education will move away from former President Barack Obama’s Title IX enforcement and embrace a new strategy based on public feedback.
“One assault is one too many. One aggressive act of harassment is one too many,” DeVos said during her Thursday address in front George Mason University students and faculty.
The Office For Civil Rights has been issuing notices and letters rather than engaging with the public for too long, DeVos said according to the Washington Examiner, and the lack of communication has done a disservice both to survivors of rape and sexual assault, as well as the wrongly accused.
Feminists criticized DeVos on Twitter later Thursday for allegedly not valuing women and undervaluing the seriousness of assault.
“Besty DeVos is discussing survivors &”wrongly accused” as if they’re equal parties. 2-10 percent of reported rapes are false,” tweeted Huffington Post editor Alanna Vagianos, before continuing to attacked DeVos’ statements.
“The White House wants to empower rapists and weaken protections for survivors,” the Women’s March tweeted. NARAL also had a few things to say.
“Due process is the foundation of any system of justice that seeks a fair outcome. Due process either protects everyone, or it protects no one,” DeVos said. “The notion that a school must diminish due process rights to better serve the ‘victim’ only creates more victims.” She added that, “Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined. These are non-negotiable principles,” she said.
DeVos’ inclusion of the falsely accused did not sit well with some feminists as well as anti-violence and feminist groups however.
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