Legal Counsel for Survivors of Campus Sexual Violence

Merle H. Weiner, Legal Counsel for Survivors of Campus Sexual Violence, 29 Yale J. L & Fem. 123 (2017).

84 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2017 Last revised: 4 Apr 2018

See all articles by Merle Hope Weiner

Merle Hope Weiner

University of Oregon - School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This Article argues that survivors of campus sexual violence often need legal counsel before, during, and after campus disciplinary proceedings. Lawyers have been overlooked as a critical resource for survivors, and this omission means that most survivors do not receive essential services for addressing their victimization and furthering their recovery. This Article sets forth the reasons why institutions of higher education should make available free legal services to their students who are victimized, and addresses the reasons why institutions might be hesitant to do so. The Article then argues that potential institutional concerns do not relieve colleges and universities of their existing legal obligation to provide some survivors with free legal services. This Article suggests that schools would best meet their legal obligation by providing all survivors with free legal services. The Article then puts its theoretical discussion into perspective by describing the University of Oregon’s unique on-campus program that provides free legal counsel to student survivors. The Article concludes by recommending that the Office for Civil Rights clarify campuses’ legal obligation to provide free attorneys for some survivors and by suggesting that campuses offer all survivors this service. The result would be a better campus response to sexual violence, a decline in the overall rate of post-assault traumatic distress, a likely reduction in the rate of campus sexual violence, and greater progress toward the goal of gender equality.

Keywords: Title IX, sexual assault, rape, attorneys, legal counsel, legal services, civil rights, higher education

Suggested Citation

Weiner, Merle Hope, Legal Counsel for Survivors of Campus Sexual Violence (2017). Merle H. Weiner, Legal Counsel for Survivors of Campus Sexual Violence, 29 Yale J. L & Fem. 123 (2017)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2983101

Merle Hope Weiner (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States
541-346-3857 (Phone)
541-346-1564 (Fax)

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