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Dem AGs, Sexual Assault Awareness Month & Senate HELP Committee Hearing on Title IX

As Sexual Assault Awareness month kicks off, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing today, April 2, at 10AM ET, to examine the current process for responding to sexual assault on college campuses.

This hearing comes as the U.S. Department of Education is proposing new rules on how U.S. schools handle sexual assault allegations under Title IX, the law that bans discrimination on the basis for sex for education programs receiving federal assistance.

Democratic AGs are leading the way on addressing sexual assault on campus and fighting alongside survivors and other advocates. Here are a few recent examples:

  1. New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal announced last week at the New Jersey Conference on Sexual Violence hosted by Rutgers University Center on Violence Against Women and Children that all 21 county prosecutors in the state will hold forums at colleges this coming Fall as part of his effort to address the issue of sexual assault on campus.
  2. Last month, Kentucky AG Andy Beshear launched Green Dot, a bystander violence prevention program for his entire office, and committed to extending this training to all state employees if elected governor. This is the latest example of AG Beshear’s work to combat sexual assault, which includes launching the nation’s first-ever Survivors Council of victims of all violent crimes, a group that includes campus sexual assault survivors who advocate for victims’ rights in Kentucky and nationwide.
  3. In January, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, California AG Xavier Becerra, and New Jersey AG Grewal led a coalition of 19 Democratic AGs in submitting a formal comment letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling on federal officials to withdraw the proposed rule , that if implemented, would undermine anti-discrimination protections and weaken protections against sexual harassment and violence for students. Virginia AG Mark Herring, New York AG Tish James and Massachusetts AG Maura Healey respectively filed separate comment letters (VA letter, NY letter & MA letter).
  1. A coalition of 20 Democratic AGs led by DAGA Co-chair District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, New Mexico AG Hector Balderas, and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro urged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to keep existing campus sexual assault protections under Title IX in place. The letter expressed the coalition’s concerns about how rollbacks in protections for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses would harm campus safety.

Democratic AGs will continue to take proactive measures to protect their constituents – including fighting back against the Trump Administration’s aggressive rollback of key Title IX protections.

Democratic Attorneys General currently hold office in 27 states, represent the majority of Americans, and the states responsible for the majority of the U.S. GDP (63.1%).

For more information about the work the Democratic Attorneys General are doing to support survivors of sexual assault, protect Title IX from Trump administration attacks, or to get in touch with a Democratic AG, please contact brandon@democraticags.org!