This week, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance for colleges on how to respond to incidents of sexual misconduct under Title IX. The Q&A document indicates how Title IX will be enforced until the department has completed its process of reviewing and revising the regulations implemented by the Trump administration in August 2020.

Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women, recently completed a report on the current landscape of campus approaches to sexual assault, funded by the National Institute of Justice. Dr. Williams also testified at a public hearing held by the Department of Education in June 2021 on revising the Trump-era regulations. She is available to discuss how colleges will be affected by this new guidance, and what it may indicate about how the regulations are being revised.

“It is critically important for the Biden administration to change the Title IX rules promulgated by the prior administration not only to assure women’s equal access to education, but also to contribute to a change in the culture that, currently, at best minimizes and at worst encourages sexual violence, physical abuse, and sexual harassment of women and girls,” she said during her testimony. “Decisions to amend these policies must consider rigorous, peer-reviewed research to ensure that women are given equal access to education.”

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