Following her decision to rollback guidance on campus sexual assault protections under Title IX, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is facing a lawsuit that alleges she violated federal law and discriminated against accusers.
Equal Rights Advocates, SurvJustice, and the Victim Rights Law Center filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California against DeVos, the Department of Education, and Candice Jackson, the acting secretary for civil rights at the department who once referred to Donald Trump’s accusers as “fake victims.”
According to SurvJustice, not only are fewer individuals coming in for assistance but colleges are not responding as quickly, if at all, to reports:
In the complaint, SurvJustice said that the group had not only seen “a decrease in the number of sexual violence survivors seeking its services,” but also observed a trend in educational institutions not responding at all, or not responding as promptly to its clients’ complaints.
The group also wrote of “students who have questioned whether they should continue with their plans to report sexual violence given the uncertainty regarding their legal protections and an anticipated lowered likelihood of success created by the policy change.”
This is not the first lawsuit brought against DeVos after policy changes were made:
The Education Department was previously sued by women’s rights group Equal Means Equal, which claims that DeVos’s rules on investigating campus sexual assault violate Title IX, which forbids sex-based discrimination in education. Kamala Lopez, the executive director of Equal Means Equal, acknowledged at the time that this lawsuit was the first of its kind. She was right when she guessed it wouldn’t be the last.