Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has rescinded an Obama-era policy on campus sexual assault - a move campaigners say may make it harder for victims to report attacks.
The Obama administration's policies essentially put Title IX, the federal law banning gender discrimination in education, at the centre and prompted schools to take responsibility for sexual assault cases. It also lowered the standards victims needed to meet in order to prove sexual assault as well as increased reporting requirements for schools.
Ms. DeVos claimed, in a statement issued by the agency, that the Obama administration "ignored" the legal procedure of taking into account "comments from stakeholders and the public during the rulemaking process" in its emphasis on campus obligations under Title IX.
Activists said the move will hurt people who seek to report attacks.
Michael Dolce, a lawyer who specialises in representing victims of school sexual assaults, told The Independent: “The administration’s actions today will discourage victims to report sex crimes, already the most under-reported crime in our society, while encouraging serial rapists, specifically date rapists”.
Mr. Dolce also said the policy change would “encourage colleges and universities to reduce, rather than increase, efforts to combat sex crimes,” efforts he said were currently “substandard and ineffective on numerous campuses across the country”.
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