Over the last two decades, there has been a significant reckoning between allegations of sexual…
Students sexually assaulted on a college campus may not be aware of the resources available to them. There may even be a reluctance to report the assault for fear, shame or self-blame. College students have rights and schools have a duty to protect students from campus sexual assault, as well as from retaliation should an assault occur. For example, schools have to investigate a claim and take action. If neither of these things occurs, a student may be able to pursue a campus sexual assault lawsuit.
When a university either ignores or fails to take on a sexual assault report, a victim can file a complaint with the Department of Education based on Title IX violations. Victims are entitled to a litany of remedies for Title IX violations and, in some cases, may be able to pursue compensation for damages. A campus sexual assault lawyer can answer any questions you may have about your potential Title IX lawsuit.
What is Considered Sexual Assault on College Campuses?
Generally speaking, sexual harassment is conduct that is:
- Sexual in nature;
- Unwelcome; and
- Denies or limits a student’s ability to participate or benefit from a school’s education program.
Sexual assault and harassment can look like a lot of different behaviors depending on the harasser and the nature of the harassment. This kind of conduct can come from the following people you may encounter in a school setting:
- Athletic doctors
- Other students
- Campus staff
- Campus employees (such as cooks, cleaning crew and groundskeepers)
- Visiting speakers
- Visiting friends of an enrolled student
In addition to those who can commit a sexual assault, an institution may be liable if an incident happens through any event that occurs on school grounds, that the school facilitates, or is facilitated by an organization affiliated with the school.
What is Title IX?
Title IX exists to provide students with comprehensive information on their rights in the event of sexual harassment or sexual assault. In addition, Title IX informs students about options and resources that are available in the event of campus sexual assault.
Title IX protects both male and female students from gender discrimination. Every school is required to have and make known procedures for students to file complaints of sexual discrimination. Title IX requires schools, universities, and educational institutions to provide reasonable protection to victims from accused perpetrators. In addition, Title IX requires educational institutions to provide services and support to assist with victim safety while they complete their education.
The Red Zone: Sexual Assaults on College Campuses
The ‘Red Zone’ refers to the period from mid-August to November when new students are more vulnerable to sexual assaults. According to research, around 50% of sexual violence incidents happen on college campuses during this time period.
Research about the ‘red zone’ phenomenon has been around since at least 2007. That year, the Department of Justice released a report detailing that more sexual assaults occur during the first few months of the fall semester than at any other point in the school year. Many resources anticipated the 2021 fall semester to be one of the worst for sexual violence. That semester was unique in that students were returning to in-person learning on campus.
Common Ways Sexual Violence Occurs on College Campuses
There is no exact number on how often sexual violence occurs on college campuses. In addition to these crimes being underreported, research methodology and definitions of sexual assault can differ greatly. Generally, research finds that between 19-27% of college women and 6-8% of college men experience some form of sexual violence.
According to the National Institute of Justice, the four most common ways sexual assault occurs through the following:
- Incapacitated rape (drunk or drugged victims)
- Forcible rape
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Sexual coercion
Sexual coercion and unwanted sexual touching appear to be the most prevalent. Still, this information may not be entirely accurate because often these studies are limited to white heterosexual female students in four-year universities.
How Can a Lawyer Assist in a College Campus Sexual Assault?
In addition to criminal charges against an assailant, sexual assault or rape victims have other options available to them after an attack. Holding all potential parties responsible for their actions or inactions can assist you in your path to healing. Understanding that you did nothing wrong and you didn’t deserve what happened to you can help you find the closure that you need. In addition, by filing a Title IX lawsuit you’re ensuring accountability for institutions that will hopefully view your lawsuit as a lesson in preventing future incidents.
Will I Have to go to Court if I File a Title IX Lawsuit?
For many victims of sexual assault, the idea of going to court to face an accuser is terrifying. Without knowing the specifics of your case, it is difficult to determine if your case will be administrative or need to be filed in federal court. For a confidential conversation to help you determine the possibilities of your Title IX claim, contact a qualified campus sexual assault lawyer at 800-359-5690.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Title IX Lawsuit?
While Title IX provides students with a lot of information, knowing how to apply that information in negotiations or a lawsuit requires a victims’ assault attorney with experience. If you want to pursue a campus sexual assault lawsuit, it’s best to speak with an attorney with experience in handling Title IX claims.
How Much Does a Title IX Lawyer Cost?
A victims’ advocate lawyer will not charge you any upfront fees. The Carlson Law Firm will only receive payment if you receive a settlement or judgment from the responsible parties.
Who Can I Talk to About Filing a Campus Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
A campus sexual assault lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm will be happy to consult with you during a free and confidential case evaluation. Call us at 800-359-5690 to answer any questions you may have about a Title IX lawsuit.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
For the pervasive sexual assault culture to end, combating campus sexual assaults must include both criminal and civil pursuits. This includes holding schools accountable when they fail to protect their students. The Carlson Law Firm offers free, confidential consultations to those who suffered sexual abuse, assault or harassment.
A compassionate team of injury lawyers is available 24/7 at 800-359-5690.
We care. We can help.