What Is Title IX and How Can It Help Me?
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center over 90 percent of people sexually assaulted or raped on a college campus do not report. To help combat these numbers, the Title IX (9) office on campus offers a variety of services for students.
According to the ACLU, under Title IX, discrimination based on sex can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault. Among other rights, a school becomes legally responsible when the school’s response to harassment “is clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances”, as a result of Davis v. Monroe.
For campuses, the Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 allows students to present his or her case of sex discrimination for the school to investigate, but this is not necessary. Title IX is about giving students options and rights.
Should a student contact the Title IX Coordinator, whom is Ronette Gerber here at UNC Pembroke, that student may take action and initiate an investigation, request a no-contact order, request that professors give lenience for missed courses within reason, receive help from the sex advocate in Counseling and Psychological Services. They also help with accommodations for pregnant students or ongoing sexual violence.
However, a student that reports a sexually violent act, dating violence or domestic violence does not have to take any further actions. Nearly 60 to 65 percent of students do not want an investigation conducted and that is his or her right. It is at the very least it is suggested that the student go to counseling for help in dealing with the event/s but again, this is not required of anyone.
In September of 2017 the Title IX office received a victim-based grant of $548,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women, a part of the Department of Justice that currently has 25 grant programs.
The office here is using this money to reduce sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking on our campus. In an addition to the office as a part of the grant, we now have Megan Strickland as the OVW Grant Coordinator whom oversees all expenses and decisions made with the grant.
Decisions made so far are to use the money for training, town of Pembroke assignments, and collaborate with Robeson Community College and the Southeastern Rape Crisis Center.
UNC Pembroke also has a detective within the campus police force. This position, previously held by Sebastian Veneziano, is now open as Veneziano left the university in October of 2018. As a part of the OVW grant the Title IX office wants to work closely with the new detective when hired and provide additional training on how to handle such cases.
The best way to prevent a sexually violent act is to always look for consent. Gerber states that, “Rarely does someone fight. No one hollers ‘Rape!’” so there are other cues to look for. Is the other person engaging? Don’t ask “did she say no?” Instead ask “did she say yes?” Don’t assume the answer is yes if the response is nothing.