Over the past several years, there have been all kinds of changes made to the rules that govern sexual misconduct and domestic violence on college campuses.
But one thing is clear: if you are a college student accused of domestic violence in Ohio or across the country, if found guilty you could be in violation of federal laws that govern sexual misconduct and discrimination on college campuses.
Without the help of an experienced trial attorney like the ones at Hiltner Trial Lawyers, you could end up convicted of criminal charges — and kicked out of school.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed in 1972.
The language of the law says that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
In layman’s terms, Title IX covers discrimination based on sex, as well as sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence accusations involving students at colleges and universities that receive federal dollars.
Since the 1970s, courts have interpreted this law as a protection against sexual harassment or assault. The argument goes that a culture of harassment, as well as a tendency on campus to disbelieve those who come forward about their experiences, creates a hostile environment for many women, LGBTQ folks, and other survivors of sexual assault.
Who enforces Title IX at your school?
The vast Title IX law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. If your school receives any federal funding, they probably have a Title IX administrator, or at least a staff member who handles student claims of sexual assault or discrimination under Title IX.
If you are accused of something that could be considered a Title IX violation, it’s important to find out who that person is at your school.
Title IX and domestic violence allegations
Although domestic violence is covered under Title IX, the degree to which it is covered varies depending on your school’s policy and definition of “intimate partner violence.” Each school will have its own policies, and in those policies the definitions of domestic violence may be different.
Domestic violence only applies if you are in a dating or other romantic relationship with the person who accused you. Domestic violence investigations may look at the nature of the relationship, how long the relationship has been going on, and how often you and the person who accused you interacted.
Title IX domestic violence accusations can vary, as well, but could fall under any of the following categories:
- Physical violence: intentional use of force, such as pushing, hitting, scratching, biting, choking, etc.
- Sexual violence: attempting sexual contact or intercourse through physical force
- Physical or sexual threats: using words or gestures to threaten sexual or bodily harm
- Psychological or emotional violence: causing trauma to a person by coercion, threatening behavior, humiliation, or keeping them from friends and family.
What do I do if I’ve been accused of a Title IX domestic violence violation?
If your accusations fall under the school’s definition of domestic violence, here’s what you need to know:
- If you are accused of domestic violence on or off campus, you will likely face a hearing at your college or university. The school is required by law to investigate. The hearing will determine whether you violated school policy and whether you will be kicked out of college.
- Even if you aren’t facing criminal charges from law enforcement or prosecutors, the school still has to resolve the issue separately.
- You will likely be provided an “advisor,” but an advisor is not an attorney. It is critical that you hire a lawyer who specializes in Title IX violations. Without one, the odds may be stacked against you.
Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyer to get the defense you deserve
Domestic violence accusations are serious, and if you don’t get the proper counsel, they could cost you your future. If you or someone you love is facing criminal or Title IX accusations, contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers today for a consultation.