On campuses across the nation, colleges are increasingly finding that sexual assault is a pervasive problem. In many cases, administrations have not taken enough precautions to help students stay safe. Many have not investigated claims of sexual assault with due diligence.
At Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., our experienced attorneys have helped numerous victims of sexual assault reach a resolution that works for them. With us, you will find that your voice is heard. Whether you want your institution to be publicly held accountable, or prefer the matter to be settled quietly, we will always act according to your goals.
We have offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We litigate cases throughout Pennsylvania and high-profile cases across the United States. We represent our West Coast victims from our office in Phoenix, Arizona. Call us toll free at 800-724-5785.
Federal Protections Against Discrimination And Assault
Under Title IX of the Federal Civil Rights Act, educational institutions cannot discriminate against students on the basis of gender.
In the media and popular culture, Title IX is often associated with collegiate sports. But Title IX protects more than just women's athletics. It also protects from gender discrimination in the classroom and on campuses. It is gender-neutral, meaning it protects men and women, and it includes proactive steps administrations must take to ensure sex discrimination does not occur on campus.
Title IX Addresses Sexual Violence
Importantly, Title IX protections extend to victims of sexual assault.
For example, schools must have a Title IX coordinator who manages complaints regarding instances of sexual assault. The coordinator's duty is to investigate those complaints, whether the incident was reported to the police or not. The school cannot wait for the conclusion of a police investigation before beginning its own investigation. And, unlike in the criminal justice system, the burden of proof to find that sexual assault occurred is a "preponderance of the evidence." In other words, school investigators must find that it was more likely than not that sexual assault occurred. If investigators find this to be the case, the school administration must take proactive steps to ensure that the student who committed the assault cannot do so again.
Colleges Are Responsible For Complying With Title IX
All colleges have an affirmative duty to comply with the provisions of Title IX. The failure to do so can lead to legal liability for the school. Through a Title IX lawsuit, victims of sexual assault can help create a safer school environment for their students. In addition, victims can get help in recovering from the emotional and financial toll the assault took.
If you have been the victim of sexual assault on a college campus, you may be wondering about your legal options. You can schedule a free consultation with our lawyers by calling us toll free at 800-724-5785, or online. We will clearly explain your rights, legal options and potential next steps.