Trump reversals on campus sexual assault prompt Oregon safety concerns

Ron heard strong safety concerns Monday from sexual assault survivor Brenda Tracy and Portland State University officials about new Trump administration policies that undermine the rights of sexual assault survivors.

His roundtable with Senator Merkley on campus sex assault comes in the wake of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ sudden decision to rescind guidance protecting sexual assault victims, creating confusion for schools like PSU that are working to treat survivors with dignity and fairness.

The bottom line is that Congress cannot let the Trump administration take one step backward when it comes to protecting students on campuses from sexual assault,” Ron said.

“I am not going to let his Education Secretary throw forward-thinking policy into reverse, back toward a scary yesteryear when sexual assault survivors were left in the cold,” he said.

Tracy spoke through tears about how she also cried the day she heard the Trump administration’s announcement rescinding previous Education Department guidelines.

Especially concerning, she said, was the prospect of a return to days of so-called mediation sessions between sexual assault survivors and their accused attackers.

I don’t know of any survivor who would want to come forward if they knew they had to sit down and face their attacker,” she said. “There is enough trauma we deal with after a rape. To then take these things and place trauma-times-10 on us again … I just don’t have words to describe what this administration is trying to do.”