TITLE IX’s OTHER VICTIMS
FACE was founded by families of students who have been accused of sexual assault on campus based on unsubstantiated allegations and despite the presence of other reliable evidence undermining the truth of the accusations.
FACE maintains a list of attorneys experienced in campus sexual assault adjudications, provides advice on how families can extricate their sons from this unimaginable nightmare and education on the issue of campuses sexual assault disciplinary proceedings. FACE connects with and provides emotional support to affected families through our website and biannual meetings.
As of June 2015, at least seventy-three students claiming to have been falsely accused or found guilty of sexual assault on their campuses have filed lawsuits against their colleges, administrators and/or their accusers. These lawsuits claim violations of due process as well as gender bias under Title IX. The plaintiffs tell uncannily similar stories of accusations of sexual misconduct, which frequently involved one-night hook ups or angry former girlfriends, and were made months or sometimes years after the alleged assault.
Falsely accused students suffer emotional trauma similar to that of rape victims, and yet receive no emotional support from their colleges. A falsely accused young man described his emotions in comparison to that of a female friend who had been raped:
"One important difference, though, is that when she was violated, she received a great deal of help (medical, legal, psychological). Apart from family and friends, I was on my own. My legal and psychological problems had to be dealt with by me at a time when I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think (except, of course, about killing myself)."
One of FACE’s primary stumbling blocks in advocating for the rights of falsely accused students is our inability to publicize the many accounts of families who have shared their stories with us. Nearly one hundred fifty similarly situated families have contacted FACE since our website was created in July 2014. Although we know there are at least seven-three lawsuits filed by students against their colleges and universities, we also know there are more lawsuits of which we are unaware, pending in state courts across the country.
There also are many, many more unjustly accused students who have resolved their disputes without legal action or are constrained by college-imposed confidentiality policies, and those whose claims have been settled are almost always bound by confidentiality clauses in their settlement agreements. And of course there are those whose futures have been devastated because they did not have the knowledge or resources to challenge the findings, and their college or university refused to acknowledge they were innocent.
Finally, in this Google-savvy world, accused students understandably are fearful disclosure; sexual violence accusations destroy dreams as well as reputations, career prospects and earnings potential; students expelled from one institution for sexual “violence” have little or no chance of admission to any other college, university or graduate school. Some have even been fired from their jobs and others have had difficulty securing employment.
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