Should colleges refer all rape cases to the police? | The Tylt
Should colleges refer all rape cases to the police?
Colleges are not equipped to investigate rape. They don't have the experience or resources to conduct a criminal investigation. Despite this, colleges are often the ones who are expected to investigate and bring justice to campus rapes.
Under the Obama administration's "Dear Colleague" letter, colleges started its crackdown on campus sexual assault at risk of losing their federal funding. Under Title IX, this has been interpreted as requirement for schools to stop, prevent and address hostile environments like sexual assault or harassment. Critics say college are woefully unprepared to tackle these investigations. Worse yet, they have a vested interest in keeping things quiet and sweeping things under the rug.
Another critique of the process points out that under Title IX investigations, people are held to a lower standard of evidence than in criminal trials. Men's rights groups are pushing for changes to the rule because they think the rights of the accused are being ignored. The constitution guarantees a right to due process and colleges cannot provide that
Instead of relying on colleges campus rape cases should go through the police and the courts. Rape is a crime, and the criminal justice system deals with crime.
Victim advocates say colleges are in the best position to bring justice to the case and provide victims with resources to move forward. First off, a big misconception is that colleges want to pursue these investigations. They're required by law under Title IX. Either way, colleges will have to investigate these rape cases to ensure that it doesn't interfere with the victim's education.
More importantly, victims want colleges to be involved. The criminal justice system as a horrible track record of holding rapists accountable. Even when they're convicted, they're often given slaps on the wrist—just look at Brock Turner. These trials tend to drag on for an extended period of time and can be even more traumatizing for the victim.
Colleges can give victims resources to move forward and ensure their education isn't derailed by a sexual assault. They can provide counseling, reschedule exams and more. Police can't do that.