By: Barbara Hart, Principal in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice Following a sexual assault lawsuit filed last year against Loyola University Chicago, seven more women have come forward alleging mismanagement of their sexual assault complaints by the university. One of the survivor plaintiffs who joined the suit said the school dissuaded her from going to the police when she was sexually assaulted in 2019 and downplayed what happened to her. These survivors’ claims are similar to those of the six female current and former Brown University students who filed a Title IX complaint against the institution. Grant & Eisenhofer represents the women in the Brown suit who, in their class action lawsuit joined by other survivors, allege that the university systematically and repeatedly failed to protect women from sexual violence, despite its knowledge of the pervasive problem of sexual assault on campus. There has historically been a disparity between sexual assaults occurring among college students and survivors actually making a report. Many students do not feel confident enough that their reports will be taken seriously by school officials. According to a Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct from research firm Westat, surveying students from 33 college campuses, most survivors of nonconsensual sexual contact do not seek help from school resources. Only 45% of survivors surveyed felt it was very likely or extremely likely that school officials would take a report of sexual assault seriously. Female students need—and deserve—safe learning environments, and should not be made to experience secondary trauma from their institution’s failure to investigate reports of sexual assault, implement support measures, and ensure educational accommodations are granted as required by Title IX.

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If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual misconduct or sexual violence at a college, university, or other education institution, it’s important to know your rights and have someone fighting for you to hold those responsible accountable. Hiring a Title IX lawyer may be an option for you. If you feel you have not been heard by your college or university, speak with an attorney experienced in Title IX proceedings. Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling (855) 244-2031.