WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? HOW CURRENT LAW OVERLOOKS THE COMPLEXITIES OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE ON COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES.

Author:Reichef, Ashley
 
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Introduction 834 I. An Overview of Intimate Partner Violence on Campuses: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Legal Obligations for Schools 836 A. The Scope of the Problem 836 1. Pervasiveness of Sexual Violence 837 2. Pervasiveness of Intimate Partner Violence 838 B. Unique Complexities of Intimate Partner Violence 841 1. The Cycle of Violence 842 2. "Why Don't You Leave?" 843 C. Legal Regimes 844 1. Title IX Application 845 2. VAWA Reauthorization Application 847 D. Specific Legal Requirements 849 1. Title IX Compliance 849 a. Notice of Nondiscrimination 849 b. Prompt and Equitable Grievance Procedures 850 c. Remedies and Enforcement 852 d. Education and Prevention Under Title IX 852 2. VAWA Reauthorization Compliance 853 a. TheCleryAct 853 b. Student Discipline Under the VAWA Reauthorization 854 c. Education and Prevention Under the VAWA Reauthorization 856 II. Shortcomings of the Ways Schools Address Intimate Partner Violence 856 A. Notice-Based Standard 856 B. No-Contact Orders 857 C. Stalking 858 D. Lack of Specific Acknowledgment 859 III. Recommendations for Reform 860 A. Regulatory Reforms 861 B. Institutional Reforms 863 C. Educational and Preventative Initiatives 864 Conclusion 865 INTRODUCTION

'As I dropped Yeardley off in Charlottesville each year, my biggest concern was that she may be injured on the lacrosse field or, even worse, be hurt in a car accident. Relationship violence was never on my radar screen ...." (1)

--Sharon Love, Yeardley's Mother

In the spring of 2010, Yeardley Love was enjoying her final semester at the University of Virginia, where she had dreamed of attending school her whole life. Yeardley embraced her time in college to the fullest, joining a sorority and playing on the women's lacrosse team. The shock and horror Yeardley's loved ones experienced upon learning that she was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just three weeks shy of her graduation is unimaginable. Her story, however, is all too common. (2) On Thanksgiving of 2014, Shannon Jones, a senior at Cornell University, was strangled to death by her boyfriend. (3) The very next day, Nadia Ezaldein, a law student at the University of Chicago, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend. (4) That same year, Cecilia Lam, a student at San Francisco State University, (5) and Diamoney Greene, a student at the University of South Carolina, (6) were also killed by intimate partners. The Centers for Disease Control defines intimate partner violence as "physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression... by a current or former intimate partner." (7) Reports indicate that more than three women are murdered by husbands or boyfriends each day. (8) Although high-profile stories like these have sent Shockwaves through college communities, violence by intimate partners is nonetheless largely overlooked in the college and university setting.

Part I of this Note addresses the prevalence of gender-based violence in the college setting, the unique complexities of intimate partner violence, and the legal requirements schools must comply with under the applicable statutes and regulations. Part II of this Note identifies the various shortcomings of the ways in which schools respond to instances of intimate partner violence. (9) Part III provides regulatory, institutional, and educational recommendations for reforming the ways in which schools address intimate partner violence, to better meet the needs of both victims (10) and the entire campus community.

  1. AI OVERVIEW OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE ON CAMPUSES: PREVALENCE, CHARACTERISTICS, AND LEGAL OBLIGATIONS FOR SCHOOLS

    1. The Scope of the Problem

      Both sexual violence and intimate partner violence are epidemics plaguing college and university campuses nationwide. (11) Although there is a large body of research exploring the prevalence of sexual violence in this setting, the data available regarding intimate partner violence are far less established. Further, data on both are often comingled because of the overlap between sexual violence and intimate partner violence. For example, six out of ten rapes committed by someone who is an acquaintance to the victim occur in relationships on college or university campuses. (12) This overlap only adds to the confusion surrounding these already complex issues. Although this Note explores the ways in which intimate partner violence is addressed in the collegiate setting, a brief overview of the prevalence of sexual violence in this context is also necessary, as sexual violence and intimate partner violence are often addressed identically by schools.

      1. Pervasiveness of Sexual Violence

        Sexual violence on college and university campuses has been at the forefront of national attention in recent years. According to a report by the American Association for Universities, 11.7% of all students are victims of rape or sexual assault during their undergraduate or graduate education. (13) Female undergraduates, specifically, are more than twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault. (14) Further, college-aged women, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, are at an increased risk of sexual violence. (15) Although females in this age range who are not college or university students report incidents of rape and sexual assault to authorities at a rate of thirty-two percent, only twenty percent of rape and sexual assault victimizations are reported to authorities by female college or university students. (16) Among the reasons commonly cited for not reporting rape and sexual assault on campuses are fear of retaliation by the assailant, fear of mistreatment by the police or other law enforcement officials, mistrust in the judicial system, and unawareness of how to report such incidents. (17) Other concerns victims often have after being raped include not wanting others, such as family members, to find out, and fear of being blamed for being raped. (18) Further, approximately eighty percent of all females between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four who are victims of rape or sexual assault knew their offender. (19) Despite vast underreporting, rape and sexual assault are extremely prevalent in the collegiate context.

      2. Pervasiveness of Intimate Partner Violence

        There appears to be less data and accompanying literature surrounding the occurrence of intimate partner violence on college or university campuses, but reports indicate that it occurs as frequently as sexual violence in this setting. Approximately twenty-one percent of college or university students report experiencing intimate partner violence by a current partner, and thirty-two percent report experiencing intimate partner violence by a previous one. (20) Moreover, women are disproportionately impacted by intimate partner violence. (21) Eight out of ten violent crimes in which the victim and offender had an intimate relationship involve a female victim. (22) Additionally, seventy percent of murders committed by intimate partners kill female victims. (23) Female college and university students are especially vulnerable to intimate partner violence, as females between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four are the most likely to experience it. (24) Research reveals that as many as forty-three percent of women who are dating on college and university campuses experience abusive behavior from their partner. (25) Of the forty-three percent of women at colleges and universities who report abusive behavior, twenty-two percent experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence by intimate partners. (26) Intimate partner violence most commonly takes the form of psychological abuse, and reports indicate that between eighty and ninety percent of students are subjected to psychological abuse by an intimate partner during their time at a college or university. (27)

        Further, intimate partner violence is often repetitive, occurring on numerous occasions rather than in isolated incidents. (28) Of those physically assaulted by an intimate partner, sixty-six percent report experiencing the abuse on multiple occasions. (29) Additionally, more than half of the stalking incidences reported by college or university students occur by current or former intimate partners. (30) These statistics are particularly troubling as stalking of intimate partners is inextricably linked to violent outcomes. Reports indicate that stalking of intimate partners is coupled with physical violence eighty percent of the time. (31)

        Despite the high prevalence of intimate partner violence among this age group, college-aged individuals are markedly reluctant to notify law enforcement about it. (32) On average, only one quarter of all physical assaults, one fifth of all rapes, and one half of all stalkings perpetrated against women by intimate partners are reported to the police. (33) Research suggests that the relationship between the victim and the offender is a key factor impacting non-reporting. (34) Victims are less likely to report violence perpetrated by a former or current intimate partner than by a mere acquaintance or a stranger. (35) Victims often hesitate to involve authorities due to fear of skepticism from law enforcement, fear that their report will not be considered legitimate, and fear that the police will not perceive minor physical aggression as serious enough to interfere. (36) Additionally, research indicates that victims of intimate partner violence are typically less confident in law enforcement's ability to provide assistance than victims of other crimes are. (37)

        Although victims are often reluctant to report abuse by an intimate partner to law enforcement authorities, such abuse is informally disclosed to at least one person-most commonly a friend or family member -by seventy-five percent of victims. (38) Negative reactions to such disclosures, which are often characterized by an emphasis on the victim's actions rather than the abusers, can lead to victims...

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