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College dating violence

In responding to concerns raised on their campuses, some colleges "have let the pendulum swing too far in the wrong direction," said Brett Sokolow, CEO of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Group, a law and consulting firm.

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.

Since then, campus activists have joined together across the country to spread awareness, prompting bipartisan legislation, a White House task force committee, and federal investigations into more than 100 schools nationwide.

Their legal strategies differ, but most argue that the campus judicial process was weighed against them.

In a letter this month to the Office for Civil Rights, lawyers for a Brown University student who was suspended and eventually withdrew after being accused of sexual assault described the disciplinary process as "Kafkaesque." Lawsuits have been filed, many in recent weeks, against a number of colleges, including Occidental College, Kenyon College and the University of Michigan.

Other schools, including the University of North-Carolina Chapel Hill and Amherst, have developed policies in response to cases on their campuses.

The growing momentum in support of women who have been assaulted has spurred a wave of complaints by men who have been punished — in some cases suspended from campus — after being accused of assault.

The proposals also would allow both accusers and the accused to bring an "advisor of their choice" to campus disciplinary proceedings.

Colleges also would have to provide more information, including a list of possible sanctions, about how disciplinary cases involving sexual violence are handled.

She said she set “pretty strong sexual boundaries” with him from the start: He was a 21-year-old senior, but he was also her first kiss, and she told him she didn’t want to go any further than that until she felt comfortable.

He ignored her and pressured her for months, she said, and often tried to take advantage of her when she was drunk or sleeping.

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