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More Protection for Accused and Colleges Under New Sexual Assault Rules

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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing another set of rules aimed to address the cases of sexual assault on campus.

According to a New York Times report, DeVos’ new rules will narrow the definition of sexual harassment and fortify the rights of students involved in sexual assault, abuse or rape and reduce liability.

The regulations reduce the burden on schools and hold them accountable only if the incident occurs on their campuses and a formal complaint is filed with proper authority.

“The department recognizes that despite well-intentioned efforts by school districts, colleges and universities, advocacy organizations and the department itself, sexual harassment and assault continue to present serious problems across the nation’s campuses,” reads the draft rule.

“The lack of clear regulatory standards has contributed to processes that have not been fair to all parties involved, that have lacked appropriate procedural protections and that have undermined confidence in the reliability of the outcomes of investigations of sexual harassment allegations.”

The new rules, if implemented, will replace the Obama era directions that strengthened the protections for sexual abuse victims. The guidelines were criticized by men’s rights activists for unfair treatment of the accused.

“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students.Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved,” DeVos said last year, while criticizing the Obama era guidelines.

The new rules to be proposed in September, will have the force of law without an act of Congress.

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