Colleges Have A Duty To Protect Students From Sexual Assault

An April 2014 report from the White House Task Force studying campus rape found that one in five women was sexually assaulted while attending college. Whether public or private, colleges and universities across the nation are supposed to be safe places to learn and discover who you are as you transition from youth into adulthood. Rape, especially date rape, in fact any sexual abuse on campus, changes everything in your life.”A process that asks you to revisit the personal details of a terrifying experience is not easy. Tahira Khan Merritt is a caring attorney who will not allow you to be re-victimized.” — Client testimonial, abused at age 15 Lawyer Tahira Khan Merritt understands how difficult and frightening it can be to revisit the details of a life-altering experience. Her firm can help you find legal recourse through a civil lawsuit against the college or university that failed you. You need not remain alone and vulnerable.

Colleges Are In A Position To Provide Immediate Relief To Students

Under Title IX, colleges and universities are required to prevent sexual assault and to investigate reports of sexual assault. When they fail, a student may hold them accountable through a civil lawsuit. The law recognizes that colleges can take immediate protective or corrective action that police are not always in a position to provide.

If a victim reports a sexual assault to university officials, they must, under Title IX, conduct an investigation to assess the guilt or innocence of the accused. This formal hearing process can involve giving written statements, calling witnesses and questioning the victim and the perpetrator. Under these policies, the victim(accuser) has the right to be accompanied by a legal advisor to represent them at the sexual misconduct hearing. These boards or investigator(s) often make findings which must be appealed quickly. The entire process can be intimidating and overwhelming for victims who do not have a lawyer with them. In most cases, the accused has legal representation due to the possibility of criminal prosecution. So, it is very important for you to have your own advocate.

Title IX cases involving college sexual abuse and campus rape

  • A school has the authority to quickly suspend or even expel perpetrators of sexual assault, which protects survivors from encountering their assailants and stops them from hurting anyone else on campus.
  • When you are dealing with the effects of rape, a college can accommodate your needs. It has the power to transfer you to a different class, move you to another dorm, provide counseling or make academic accommodations, like rescheduling finals or giving you an extension on an assignment.
  • The university is required to address every report while prosecutors do not have to bring charges in every case.
We Have The Experience Necessary To Litigate These Complex Cases

Ms. Merritt has been hired by parents of victims to represent their sons and daughters during university administrative hearings and also to handle appeals to the Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C.

Let Us Be Your Voice | Protect Others

When colleges or universities allow rape to occur, fail to investigate, do not address the needs of the survivor or go so far as to cover up all of this, we will work to hold the perpetrators and the institutions accountable.

Talk to our experienced, compassionate attorney or understanding victims’ advocate in a free and confidential consultation if you are ready to tell your story. You can provide us with as little or as much information as you feel comfortable sharing. Call our office in Dallas at (214) 503-7300 or communicate with us through email.