Former Vice President Joe Biden used an already debunked statistic Friday to support his condemnation of the education department’s proposed rule to handle allegations of sexual misconduct on college campuses.
Betsy DeVos’ new Title IX rules will discourage sexual assault reporting and investigations. When 1 in 5 women experience sexual assault while in college, we can’t afford to go backwards. Share your views: https://t.co/eSsO7c9yXD
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 16, 2018
“Betsy DeVos’ new Title IX rules will discourage sexual assault reporting and investigations,” Biden tweeted. “When 1 in 5 women experience sexual assault while in college, we can’t afford to go backwards.”
The statistics published by the Obama-era Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are “wildly at odds with the official crime statistics,” however, said American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident scholar and former philosophy professor Christina Hoff Sommers, in a fact-check video.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the actual rate of sexual assault on college campuses is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or .03 in 5. The rate of rape and sexual assault for non-students is actually 1.2 times higher than for students – 7.6 per 1,000.
“Where did the CDC find more than a million and nearly 14 million victims of sexual violence that professional criminologists somehow overlooked?” Sommers asked in the video. “It found them by using a poorly constructed telephone survey with a low response rate and a non-representative sample of respondents. No one interviewed was asked if they had been raped or sexually assaulted.”
Armed with the false “1 in 5” statistic, however, the Obama administration threatened to cut funding to colleges and universities who did not implement its policy.
The Obama administration also instructed colleges and universities to use the lesser “preponderance of evidence” standard to resolve allegations of sexual misconduct, rather than the higher “clear and convincing evidence” standard.
To promote its policy, the Obama-era education department engaged the media with the CDC report’s statistic and even the former president himself repeated it in his speeches.
The Obama policy delivered “kangaroo courts” on college campuses in which mostly male students were accused of sexual misconduct with little information about the allegations against them and no recourse to defend themselves.
David French at National Review wrote the new Trump administration rules will not only “restore basic due process and fairness to college tribunals, but they also — given how basic the changes are — highlight just how ridiculous university kangaroo courts have become.” He added:
I know what you’re thinking. “Wait. Not only did some schools deny cross-examination, but they also denied the accused access to the relevant evidence in his case, including exculpatory evidence?” Yes, they did deny access to evidence. It wasn’t uncommon for accused students to walk into hearings with only a cursory understanding of the charges against them and partial access to evidence, and then have to respond — on the fly — without access to any legal help.
On Friday, DeVos released the long-awaited proposed rule that underscores the seriousness of sexual assault as it also stressed the importance of due process for those accused of misconduct.
The rule calls for a “presumption of innocence throughout the grievance process,” “written notice of allegations and an equal opportunity to review all evidence collected.”
Additionally, both parties would have the right to cross-examination with the new rule.