Epidemic sexual harassment and assaults on women at Yale causes US government to intervene

[Alice Walker, Courts & Legal Affairs Contributor]

AlterNet:  All is not right at Yale for its female members. That is because the prestigious university’s male members’ sexual harassment, date rape and other serious assaults upon its female members have reached such epidemic proportions that the US government has had to intervene.

The US government’s intervention followed the filing of a recent suit by 16 of the university’s members alleging it to be  ‘hostile environment’ in that, in particular, it is in violation of  the US’s Equal Opportunity in Education Act’s (‘Title IX‘) provisions which seeks to ensure that  university bodies take active measures to protect women and ensure fairness for treatment of all students regardless of gender, or race.

As a result of the suit against Yale, the US Office of Civil Rights together with the US Department of Education and the Obama administration is pressing ahead to get universities to follow  federal rules for dealing with incidences of sexual assault and harassment. The OCR has since sent Yale and other schools a reminder that ignoring sexual harassment and sexual assault is illegal under Title IX.

But Yale is not unique. In 2007, the US Justice Department reported that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men are being raped in US universities with many of both sexes never reporting the incidents.



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