New Title IX Regulations Released

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) was signed into law more than 50
years ago. In the decades since, Title IX’s protections have paved the way for tremendous strides
in access to education and more for millions of students across the country and have opened
doors for generations of women and girls. In spite of this historic progress, rates of sexual
harassment and assault in our nation’s schools and colleges remain unacceptably high. Many
women see their education derailed because of pregnancy discrimination. And many LGBTQI+
students face bullying and harassment just because of who they are. The Biden-Harris
Administration believes that the promise of Title IX, an education free from sex discrimination,
remains as vital now as it was when it was first signed into law.
On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule to fully effectuate
Title IX’s promise that no person experiences sex discrimination in federally funded education.
Before issuing the proposed regulations, the Department received feedback on its Title IX
regulations, as amended in 2020, from a wide variety of stakeholders. The regulations released
today draw on the Department’s engagement with tens of thousands of students, parents,
educators, State government representatives, advocates, lawyers, researchers, and representatives
from elementary schools, secondary schools, and postsecondary institutions. After releasing the
proposed regulations in July 2022, the Department received and reviewed more than 240,000
comments from the public to inform this rulemaking.

Click here to read the fact sheet.

Survivors of technology-facilitated sexual abuse (TFSA) have experienced sexual abuse through nonconsensual image-sharing, deep fake pornography, imagery of sexual abuse and rape, including child sexual abuse materials (CSAM).

 

Technology Facilitated Sexual Abuse (TFSA) is also known as Digital Sexual Violence, and Image-Based Sexual Abuse. These are forms of power and control intended to expose, threaten, extort, oppress, commodify, advertise, and/or stalk survivors and their families. Images may be created, shared, traded, or sold without the survivor’s knowledge or ability to recall.

 

We are experiencing new and swiftly developing technologies such as AI misuse and “Deep Fake” that are easily accessible to create harmful images and videos. Because of its prevalence and exponential growth, we need the advocacy skills to assist survivors, whether or not they choose to disclose. It is important to note here that some of these experiences may fall under the legal category of sex trafficking, however the advocate’s role is to respond to the way survivors are sharing and naming their experiences and not categorize them for survivors.

One of the main features of TFSA is the lifelong, repetitive victimization that occurs whenever the image is shared. Survivors’ describe how their digital images ‘still out there floating around on the internet,’ is their everyday reality. Their survival strategy is learning to live with the constant possibility that known or unknown images will be recognized by someone they know, or pinged by law enforcement. Some describe the paralyzing fear they have in walking out the door because of the ever-present threat. Survivors and their families fear physical safety, as consumers of images try to find victims online or in person to continue to harm them.

They also experience victim blaming and shaming. Survivors of TFSA may have heard things like: “Well no one actually touched you” or “It’s not real, so it’s not you” or “You shouldn’t have sent anyone nudes in the first place. What did you think would happen?”

Survivors and secondary survivors* of any kind of sexual violence deserve the opportunity to process their experiences in safety and in confidence. Survivors deserve to get the resources they need for validation and healing. Equipped and well-funded rape crisis centers are crucial to be there for ALL survivors of sexual abuse.

Facing Technology-Faciliated Sexual Abuse: A Resource for Advocates is now available upon request. It includes information about terminology, secondary survivorship, survivor voices and resources, and different ways to advocate for survivors of TFSA. If you would like a copy of this resource, email [email protected].

*Secondary Survivor definition: Non-offending biological or chosen family and friends of someone who has experience rape or sexual abuse. Secondary Survivors deserve access to support, whose feelings and trauma deserve to be respected and voices heard.