Rape Title IX investigations in jeopardy
BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS 12) —
Rape on college campuses.
It's a frightening subject, especially if you just moved your child into their first dorm room.
And right now there is a heated debate in Washington about a federal civil rights law: Title IX.
Under the Trump Administration enforcement could be dialed way back, and consequently investigations into claims of rape could change.
At any public university if a victim feels authorities aren't taking them seriously, they can use Title IX to get federal investigators involved.
But in a cost cutting measure, the Trump administration could get rid of those investigators.
"Just personally, it's really upsetting when people try to shrug things like that off, Title IX has to be taken seriously," said Emily Bloch.
Bloch recently graduated from FAU. She is a writer for our news partner, The Sun Sentinel. During her college experience, she was a student journalist, and ultimately editor of the University Press.
Emily worked on an investigation into a controversial alleged rape at an off campus party.
"It is pretty incredible to see as a student journalist what can happen when you write a story," Bloch said.
Through her work, Emily learned a lot about the federal civil rights law Title IX. People can use it if they feel they're being ignored by a university and or police.
Since taking office, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been reviewing how the department handles Title IX cases.
Meanwhile, President Trump says he wants to cut positions from federal agencies to get the budget under control. Federal documents reveal about 40 positions in the Dept of Educations Civil Rights Office are on the chopping block.
They're the ones who deal with Title IX rape cases.
A Deputy Secretary of Education had to apologize for an interview given to the New York Times, she told the times 90 percent of rapes on colleges involve being drunk.
Emily Bloch says her investigation involved an alleged rape victim getting stone-walled, she fears if the national cuts go through there will be no place to turn.
"Sexual assault isn't situational if a person says it happens we need to take it seriously and go from there," Bloch said.
CBS 12 called the Dept. of Education for a comment on where things stand with the cuts, we have not heard back.