Students around the country have already begun pouring back onto college campuses, ready to embark on a new academic year. This year many students will return to find their schools under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to effectively address sexual violence on campus. Title IX’s nearly 45-year-old ban on sex discrimination in education requires schools that take federal dollars –virtually all schools – to take prompt and effective steps to address harassment and violence. With over 200 universities facing pending complaints, the problem of sexual assault finally has caught the attention of the very policymakers and educators who can make a difference.
But efforts to transform the response to sexual assault will fail if focused on the wrong solutions. Here are five myths that can prevent meaningful approaches to combatting sexual assault on college campuses.