Dating violence in college

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The next wave of Title IX activism, researchers and activists say, will focus on how colleges investigate allegations of and provide resources to students in abusive relationships.And it’s going to be just as complicated and contentious.

The 1972 law was best known for its impact on high school and college athletics until 2011, when the Education Department sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools reminding them that they needed to be investigating sexual violence cases under Title IX, too.

The two dated from fall 2011 into the following spring, when Ortiz told a friend that her boyfriend touched her and made her touch him when she didn’t want to. But it was also the only relationship Ortiz had ever known.

It wasn’t until he broke up with her that summer that Ortiz confided in a mentor on campus.

She suggested Ortiz speak to the dean of students, who offered to set up an informal mediation between Ortiz and her ex.

Informal mediations are prohibited under federal gender equity law Title IX, as well as the University of Chicago’s own policies, even on a voluntary basis, "in matters involving allegations of sexual assault." But Ortiz didn't know that, and the dean who suggested the process didn’t tell her.

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