A letter from Mary Macumber Schmidt, President of Family Resources:
Family Resources provides services to survivors of violent crimes, including sexual abuse. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (www.nsvrc.org), “One in five women will be a victim of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college.” In addition, “One in 16 men will be a victim of sexual assault during college.”
According to the US Department of Education (2014), “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
In 2011, a “Dear Colleague” letter was released by the Office for Civil Rights requiring schools nationally to make significant improvements in their response to sexual abuse and dating violence. The Department of Education recently announced their intention to rescind this letter as well as roll back important Title IX guidance regarding how to address sexual assault on campuses.
Family Resources’ SafePath Survivor Resources employs Campus Advocates in Illinois and Iowa. These Advocates are a resource to our local schools and universities and assist with understanding the law as well as ensuring compliance is being practiced. In addition, these advocates are available to assist survivors of sexual assault. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with local schools and will continue our efforts to strengthen those partnerships. At Family Resources, we are dedicated to upholding Title IX and the “Dear Colleague” letter. Most importantly, we promise to stand with survivors to continue to work with schools and universities to ensure the safety of all students.
- Mary Macumber Schmidt, President