Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is about to make an impactful decision on campus sexual assault guidelines. So naturally, people are worried.
During her confirmation hearing, DeVos declined to comment on whether she would support victims of campus sexual assault. Since she assumed office, the Department of Education has already begun to repeal some of Obama administration’s policies which put in place stricter sexual assault guidelines for schools in 2011.
However, after months of receiving requests for advocates of sexual assault survivors, DeVos has finally granted them audience but she’s also invited people from the other side — “men’s rights group” that have a history of misogyny, victim blaming and harassing sexual violence survivor.
The Department has reached out to the National Coalition for Men, SAVE: Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, and FACE: Families Advocating for Campus Equality, according to Politico.
The National Coalition for Men is one of the largest and most shameless misogynistic organizations out here. The group is of the opinion that sexual violence and domestic abuse are largely overrated and men (which they have called the “falsely accused”) are the actual victims. The organization has also previously listed the names and photo of female victims, who were denied justice, in an attempt to silence and intimidate them.
President Harry Crouch also made some very “intriguing” comments to drive the point of male victims home.
“Please remember, before starting with the ‘how about the victim’ rebuttal that here, the ’victim’ is the falsely accused, not the person making the allegation,” he said in a 2014 article. “He/she false accuser is the perpetrator, should be severely disciplined and if applicable, held accountable for crimes.”
However, researchers estimate somewhere between 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations are false, but even among those who are wrongly accused, it is rare for men to end up in prison.
“Speaking of patriarchy, please go outside, look around, and ask yourself what you see that was not built by men,” he added later on. “One of the horrific consequences of patriarchy is that you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, food on the table, and a university you can attend where you learn that men are the cause of all the world’s problems.
Meanwhile SAVE has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a misogynistic website. The organization is a strong critic of the rules that prevent defense attorneys from entering evidence of a rape victim’s sexual history. It lobbies against domestic abuse protections, calls men accused of sexual harassment as the “true victims of abuse” and states that the primary reason for abuse is the female instigating violence.
As for FACE, it has been created by mothers who claim their sons were falsely accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses. The group claims colleges are expelling innocent students due to false accusations.
“If the school investigators feel that there is even a slight chance that your accuser might be telling the truth, you will almost certainly be suspended or expelled,” the organization’s site says. “If your accuser had any alcohol at all, you will most likely be expelled.”
Not true, since a 2014 Huffington Post analysis of 100 schools found among students who were responsible for sexual assault, only 30 percent were actually expelled.
Washington Post also found that out of 478 sanctions dealt for sexual assault on 100 campuses between 2012 and 2013, only 12 percent led to expulsion.
These are the experts that DeVos is trusting to educate her on campus sexual assault: people who have spent their lives denying women’s rights and who believe women receive preferential treatments in trials.
The fact that DeVos has chosen to side with these sexist trolls does not bode well for sexual assault victims at all.
It’s insult to injury for rape survivors that a group like this gets to meet with Betsy DeVos https://t.co/6WhqFxjzGW— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) July 12, 2017
Betsy Devos is meeting with an org that published the names and photos of women whose rape cases were dismissed https://t.co/tL27BVtFzP— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 12, 2017
Damn it, YOU HAD ONE JOB, BETSY!— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) July 12, 2017
Betsy DeVos to meet with men's rights groups to discuss campus rapehttps://t.co/P1RBeOnuWU
Donald Trump: I'll consult Vladimir Putin about cyber security!— Nate ¯_(?)_/¯ (@thel0rdbyr0n) July 12, 2017
Betsy DeVos: I'll consult "men's rights" groups about campus rape!