Sunday, December 14, 2014

Title IX's Impact :College (Seminary) sexual abuse programs are replacing the police & criminal system with psychotherapy and expulsion - strongly reducing a man's presumed status of innocence

Slate    The College Rape Overcorrection  SEE article which refutes the statistical claims that are used to justify this policy
Sexual assault on campus is a serious problem. But efforts to protect women from a putative epidemic of violence have led to misguided policies that infringe on the civil rights of men.
We are told that one of the most dangerous places for a young woman in America today is a college campus. As President Obama said at a White House event in September, where he announced a campaign to address campus violence, “An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years—one in five.” (At an earlier White House event on the issue, the president declared of sexual violence, “It threatens our families, it threatens our communities; ultimately, it threatens the entire country.”) In recent weeks, Rolling Stone’s lurid account of a premeditated gang rape at the University of Virginia has made the issue of campus sexual violence front-page news. (The reporting and the allegations in the article have since been called into question, and Rolling Stone has issued a statement acknowledging that the magazine failed to properly investigate and corroborate the story.)

Sexual assault at colleges and universities is indeed a serious problem. The attention it’s receiving today—on campus, at the White House, in the media—is a direct result of the often callous and dismissive treatment of victims. For too long, women who were assaulted on campus and came forward were doubted or dismissed, and the men responsible were given a mild rebuke or none at all. Those who commit serious sexual crimes on campus must be held to account.

In recent years, young activists, many of them women angry about their treatment after reporting an assault, have created new organizations and networks in an effort to reform the way colleges handle sexual violence. They recognized they had a powerful weapon in that fight: Title IX, the federal law that protects against discrimination in education. Schools are legally required by that law to address sexual harassment and violence on campus, and these activists filed complaints with the federal government about what they describe as lax enforcement by schools. The current administration has taken up the cause—the Chronicle of Higher Education describes it as “a marquee issue for the Obama administration”—and praised these young women for spurring political action. “A new generation of student activists is effectively pressing for change,” read a statement this spring announcing new policies to address campus violence. The Department of Education has drafted new rules to address women’s safety, some of which have been enshrined into law by Congress, with more legislation likely on the way.

Unfortunately, under the worthy mandate of protecting victims of sexual assault, procedures are being put in place at colleges that presume the guilt of the accused. Colleges, encouraged by federal officials, are instituting solutions to sexual violence against women that abrogate the civil rights of men. Schools that hold hearings to adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct allow the accuser and the accused to be accompanied by legal counsel. But as Judith Shulevitz noted in the New Republic in October, many schools ban lawyers from speaking to their clients (only notes can be passed). During these proceedings, the two parties are not supposed to question or cross examine each other, a prohibition recommended by the federal government in order to protect the accuser. And by federal requirement, students can be found guilty under the lowest standard of proof: preponderance of the evidence, meaning just a 51 percent certainty is all that’s needed for a finding that can permanently alter the life of the accused.

More than two dozen Harvard Law School professors recently wrote a statement protesting the university’s new rules for handling sexual assault claims. “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” they wrote. The professors note that the new rules call for a Title IX compliance officer who will be in charge of “investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review.” Under the new system, there will be no hearing for the accused, and thus no opportunity to question witnesses and mount a defense. Harvard University, the professors wrote, is “jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.” But to push back against Department of Education edicts means potentially putting a school’s federal funding in jeopardy, and no college, not even Harvard, the country’s richest, is willing to do that.

Hard-line policies like Harvard’s are necessary, government officials say, because undergraduate women are in unique peril. Often-cited studies of sexual violence at colleges describe an epidemic. But each of these studies has serious methodological limitations. In some cases, the studies make sensational assertions that are not supported by the underlying data. In others, the experiences of one or two campuses have been made to stand in for the entirety of America’s higher education system. [...]

This is one of the frequently made assertions about campus violence, but the evidence to back it up is lacking. Being young does make people more vulnerable to serious violent crime, including sexual assault; according to government statistics those aged 18 to 24 have the highest rates of such victimization. But most studies don’t compare the victimization rates of students to nonstudents of the same age. One recent paper that does make that comparison, “Violence Against College Women” by Callie Marie Rennison and Lynn Addington, compares the crime experienced by college students and their peers who are not in college, using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey. What the researchers found was the opposite of what Gillibrand says about the dangers of campuses: “Non-student females are victims of violence at rates 1.7 times greater than are college females,” the authors wrote, and this greater victimization holds true for sex crimes: “Even if the definition of violence were limited to sexual assaults, these crimes are more pervasive for young adult women who are not in college.”[...]

Any woman who is raped, on campus or off, deserves a fair and thorough investigation of her claim, and those found guilty should be punished. But the new rules—rules often put in place hastily and in response to the idea of a rape epidemic on campus—have left some young men saying they are the ones who have been victimized. They are starting to push back. In the past three years, men found responsible for sexual assault on campus have filed more than three dozen cases against schools. They argue that their due process rights have been violated and say they have been victims of gender discrimination under Title IX. Their complaints are starting to cost universities. The higher education insurance group United Educators did a study of the 262 insurance claims it paid to students between 2006 and 2010 because of campus sexual assault, at a cost to the group of $36 million. The vast majority of the payouts, 72 percent, went to the accused—young men who protested their treatment by universities. [...]

Carol Tavris is a social psychologist and author of the feminist classic, The Mismeasure of Woman, and, with Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me). She says she is troubled by the blurring of distinctions between rape (notably by predatory males), unwanted sex (where one party agrees to sex not out of desire but to please or placate the partner), and the kind of consensual sex where both parties are so drunk they can barely remember what happened—and one of them later regrets it. She says, “Calling all of these kinds of sexual encounters ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’ doesn’t teach young women how to learn what they want sexually, let alone how to communicate what they want, or don’t want. It doesn’t teach them to take responsibility for their decisions, for their reluctance to speak up. Sexual communication is really hard—you don’t learn how to do it in a few weekends.” [...]


  1. "there will be no hearing for the accused" - Of course there can be no hearing for male defendants, because due process and constitutional rights for men are outmoded patriarchal concepts, and only serve to enable rapists and abusers of women. The goals of the pagan, totalitarian feminists include replacing all Biblical and Constitutional justice systems (ie remnants of reactionary sexist Patriarchy) with misandrist police state "justice" systems. In the New Age feminist police state all women are presumed to be actual or potential victims of violent, misogynist men, while all men are presumed guilty until proven innocent of violent, sexist, misogyny.

    Feminists are now implementing on college campuses what has already been largely implemented in many US Family Courts-an insane misandrist kangaroo court "justice" system. In the so-called "Orthodox" Jewish world, feminist groups like the YU based ORA group have implemented their own versions of New Age feminist "justice" systems, with a thin veneer of "Judaism" to create an appearance of legitimacy.

  2. After building a society and economy built on stoking the animalistic side of Mankind, Americans now want the beasts they've brought up to act like lambs. Sorry Uncle Sam, Americans do not want social mores in good taste, they want bacchanalia that feels good. (With apologies to Starkist.)

  3. Clicking through the link in the article for the book "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me"), I was introduced to another book "The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuition Deceives Us." This latter book serves as an explanation how a school staff could miss obvious signs of abuse by an administrator. The book one and same times provides a basis for vindicating the staff and a basis for considering the school still dangerous.

    The book's premise is reminiscent of the Ramchal's introduction to Mesillas Yesharim. In my own words, people can be so confident they will perceive something that they actually neglect to perceive it. In other words, a staff can be so confident they would pick up signs of abuse, that they could actually miss the signs completely. Thus, the staff can be telling the truth when they say they detected nothing out of order.

    And precisely because they may be prone to overconfidence, they are likely to miss the same type of signs in the future. Thus, the schools remain dangerous.

    Have you ever noticed that some of those who disturb the Davening in Shul by talking are the selfsame people loudly "shushing" others? I think that these talkers think that because they are confident that they are the defenders of the honor of the Shul that they thus cannot possibly be guilty of talking out of place and driving away the Shechina.

  4. @Joseph Orlow - you arguments make sense only when there is no major change.Reb Birnbaum has been introduced into the system as well as a vaad of Rabbonim. In addition the staff has undergone training by Debbie Gross and have new guidelines that cause them to perceive things in a different way. Therefore the schools are not dangerous - but staff in other seminaries could fit your model

  5. Can someone kindly provide contact information for Rabbi Birnbaum and/or the Vaad? A recent legal document elsewhere online seems to indicate that Rabbi Meisels has control of his purported former seminaries. Can anyone argue that this shouldn't be brought to the attention of those who act in the role of protectors of the seminaries?

  6. @Joseph Orlow - the evidence used for the claim is based on a letter referring to Peninim USA. The blogger who cited the letter did not establish that this organization is connected to the seminaries and is therefore in violation of the agreement.

    One would think that before screaming fire [or implying that major rabbis connected with this issue are all liars ] in a crowded theater full of nervous people - that elementary fact would be established.

    If it is in fact connected I will be glad to obtain the information you requested - if it is not one would hope the irresponsible individual who made the claim would apologize.

  7. In the letter, the expression "giving up his assets" lends itself to several meanings. On the surface, "assets" means, in the context of the previous sentence in the letter, Pninim of America, Inc. that is, the assets of this corporation. That interpretation has three difficulties.

    (1) The U.S. corporation of Pninim probably has minimal assets. It could be a shell corporation, with the sole purpose of raising funds for the seminaries in Eretz Yisrael. We might expect the assets to be some office furniture, and maybe some cash in the bank -- not things that I find anyone would be seriously interested in spending a lot of time getting their hands on, since presumably most of the monies that come through it are immediately channeled to the seminaries overseas.

    (2) People don't generally own assets of a corporation. On the other hand, the way the seminaries were organized in Eretz Yisrael may make it possible for an individual to own the assets.

    (3) Up until now, most discussion on this blog has referred to Rabbi Meisels giving up his seminaries in Eretz Yisrael. You mention as much in your comment. And in this letter, first the lawyers speak of Rabbi Meisel's giving up "control", and then separately they mention "giving up his assets." While these two terms may be synonymous, I think they can reasonably be understood otherwise.

    None of this is to challenge whatever the Bais Din has stated. What is relevant here is Rabbi Meisel's understanding of agreements he entered into. If Rabbi Meisel believes he has retained control and/or assets in connection with the seminaries, I think that should be investigated.

  8. @Joseph Orlow - you sound like a lawyer. The original agreement with the CBD and Meisels is that he would not have a role in the running of the seminary -but that he could still own it. No contact with the students. Then when the IBD got involved the concern was that he shouldn't have ownership either. The ownership talked about was the amuta - the non-profit Israeli corporation of the seminaries. Since it is a non-profit the amuta can not itself be sold but the various privledges associated running it are worth something.

    Meisels has been official removed from the Amuta. Does your blogger have any evidence at all that Meisles is violating the conditions that were set by the IBD and CBD?

    That is the only question that matters and I haven't heard that Meisels is in fact violating the agreement

  9. Why is he holding on to the U.S. corporation if he's not interested in getting back into business?

  10. @Joseph Orlow - you are assuming that the only thing of value in Peninim USA is Meisels access and/or control of Israeli Seminaries. Is that in fact true?

    Perhaps he is holding on to it simply because it has monetary value to others? I don't know the actual significance of Peninim USA and obviously neither do you or Lopin.


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