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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Kuster: Rescinding Sexual Assault Protections Makes Students Less Safe, Tilts Scale Against Survivors

Sep 22, 2017
Press Release

(Concord, NH) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, issued the following statement on the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that the Trump Administration is rescinding Obama-era sexual assault guidance and issuing a new Q&A document while a formal review is taken. This week, Kuster led a bipartisan group of members in calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to continue protections for survivors and maintain the preponderance of evidence as the appropriate standard for campus disciplinary proceedings.

“I am appalled the Department of Education has decided to rescind critical protections for survivors of sexual violence as it reviews Title IX guidance for college and university campuses." said Congresswoman Kuster.  “Secretary DeVos and the Department should be working to strengthen the current protections for survivors, not weaken them and make it harder for survivors to come forward and seek justice. The new guidance contains gaping holes that create uncertainty for students, their families, and college and university officials. Make no mistake: this tilts the scales against survivors, endangers students, protects predators, and make campuses less safe. It allows colleges to use a more burdensome standard of proof, limits the right to appeal, and undermines interim steps colleges and universities can take to protect students on campus. This shields assailants at the expense of every other students’ safety. I was shocked that the Department did not re-emphasize the importance of prevention in this new document and will continue to push back against these misguided efforts.”