Sexual Assault

  •  This morning, the U.S. Department of Education withdrew its 2011 guidance on responding to sexual violence in schools and replaced it with interim guidance that is less protective for survivors. It is especially troubling that this new guidance was issued just days after the Department of Education received thousands of comments urging it to uphold the 2011 guidance and its protections for student victims of sexual violence.
  • Legal Momentum's Staff Attorney Caitlin McCartney-Gerber appeared on CTV's Your Morning show on Thursday, September 14, 2017, to talk about how shelters can prevent sexual violence in the wake of natural disasters."After a natural disaster, an evacuation centre can mean women and children are exposed to another danger: sexual violenceAfter Hurricane Katrina in 2005, dozens of women, and several men, reported sexual assaults at crowded evacuation sites and shelters. But at least one legal expert says much that can be done to prevent these attacks.
  • Yesterday Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education will commence a “notice and comment” process to formulate guidance regarding schools’ responsibilities in handling sexual harassment and sexual violence and made clear her intention to replace the Obama Administration-era 2011 guidance which has provided protection to sexual assault survivors and clarity for schools to respond to incidents of sexual harassment and violence. 
  • For women and children who are living through Hurricane Harvey, reaching a place of safety from the storm often means exposure to another danger: sexual violence. As Hurricanes Rita and Katrina demonstrated in 2005, natural disasters often create environments ripe for sexual exploitation, with many sexual assaults occurring at crowded evacuation sites and shelters.
  • Lynn Hecht Schafran, senior vice president of Legal Momentum, a women’s rights group in New York, argued that the problem is rooted in stereotypes and myths about sexual assault. She cited several famous quotes and reports, from 1904 to the present, which questioned the validity of women’s rape claims.
  • In an interview on July 12, Candice Jackson, the acting head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), said that the overwhelming majority of Title IX complaints did not warrant investigation.
  • NJEP—NCSC Ten Tips for Judicial Ed Programs by
  • NJEP—NCSC Introduction to Sexual Assault Cases and the Courts by
  • NJEP—NCSC Minimizing Trauma During a Sexual Assault Trial by
  • The following suggestions were developed by judges from more than 25 state and tribal jurisdictions who attended presentations of the National Judicial Education Program’s Understanding Sexual Violence curriculum. During these presentations judges were asked how they could incorporate the material explored into their role as judges during the pre-trial, trial, and sentencing phases of an adult victim sexual assault case. Their ideas are summarized here. Since laws and procedures vary, these ideas may or may not apply to your jurisdiction.
  • Helping Sexual Assault Victims Navigate the Criminal Justice System: Effective Use of a Multidisciplinary ApproachThis webinar was originally presented on December 15, 2016 to OVW Legal Assistance for Victims grantees and others interested in this topic.
  • Lynn Hecht Schafran, senior vice president at Legal Momentum, which advocates for abuse victims, said a rape crisis agency once contacted her about something they were writing that would’ve said it’d be good if rape victims did not have to testify at trial.“I told them that is not the U.S. system,” Schafran said. “They would be misleading the people they’re advocating for, and have no credibility with the folks of the legal community.”