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IU, Vincennes Named In List Of Sexual Abuse Reviews


Photo: WFIU News

The Department of Education's list aims to increase transparency as part of a larger effort to address sexual assault on campus.

Indiana University and Vincennes University are named in a list the U.S. Department of Education released today of 55 Title IX schools that are under investigation for sexual abuse cases or are undergoing compliance reviews of how they handle sexual harassment complaints.

Education Department officials called the list the “first comprehensive look” at which campuses are under review for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence.

In a statement, Indiana University officials say the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights initiated a routine compliance review of IU-Bloomington’s handling of reports of sexual harassment in March.

“This type of compliance review is distinct and separate from investigations that arise from complaints to OCR, and the office has confirmed that it has received no complaints against IU Bloomington that would have triggered an investigation,” the statement reads. “As OCR explained to campus officials, it is in the process of conducting compliance reviews on numerous campuses throughout the country, and individual institutions have been chosen randomly based on size, geographic location, type of campus community (commuter vs. residential) and other factors.”

Vincennes University officials also said in a statement the university is actively working with the OCR to complete the review process.

“VU is always interested in learning how to improve the campus environment and safety measures for our students, including best practices to combat sexual assault and harassment,” said Lynn White, assistant provost of
Student Affairs,”  Lynn White, assistant provost of Student Affairs, said in a statement.

As NPR reports on why the list contains Title IX schools:

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions’ handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them, according to The Associated Press.

The list is part of the White House’s initiative to address sexual assault on college campuses. Earlier this week a task force released a report outlining steps college should take to prevent and respond to sexual assaults on their campuses. The report indicates nearly one in five women are assaulted while in college.

This story will be updated.

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