Title IX is a civil rights law adopted under the Education Amendments in 1972. It protects people from being discriminated against on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal assistance. Discrimination can be harassment, sexual assaults, and denial of educational resources. Title IX applies to not only educational attainment but also access to athletic activities. Title IX’s strength is crucial in ending violence against women because it ensures that women receive the support they deserve after such a crime has been inflicted upon them. To learn more about the current status and support measures available, please check out the resources below.

National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233, https://www.thehotline.org/

For any victims and survivors who need support, the NDVH is for there you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

Línea directa nacional de violencia doméstica, 1-800-799-7233, https://www.thehotline.org/ para cualquier víctima y sobreviviente que necesite apoyo, se puede comunicar 24 horas del día. Llame al 1-800-799-7233 o al 1-800-799-7233 para TTY, o si no puede hablar de manera segura, puede iniciar sesión en thehotline.org o enviar la palabra LOVEIS por mensaje de texto al 22522.

Para información en español, visita la página “En Español.

National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673, https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via confidential online chat

Many states have their own domestic violence and sexual assault hotlines with helpful information offered in a number of languages. You can reach their websites by entering the name of your state + domestic violence hotline or sexual assault hotline. Guidance to law enforcement assistance, shelters, counseling, and other important services are provided.

Equal Education and Title IX 

NOW was one of the chief advocates for passage of the Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination by any educational institution that receives federal funding, including grade/middle/high schools and postsecondary institutions. This important civil rights law assures that equal opportunity is to be provided for women and men, boys and girls, in both academics and athletics. 

The benefits of Title IX  address recruitment, admissions and housing, assistance to pregnant, parenting and/or married students, financial assistance, student health services, and insurance benefits, and sexual harassment.  

As tennis great Serena Williams has pointed out: Title IX’s promotion of athletic opportunity has opened the door to success for girls and young women. The number of women seeking higher education and seeking advanced degrees since 1972 has dramatically increased. As proof of the success, women have dominated the U.S. Olympics Teams in recent years, often earning more medals than the men’s team. 

AP file photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth

 Title IX exponentially increased opportunities for women in sports by ensuring equitable participation, treatment, benefits, and college scholarships. However, girls of color still face an unequal playing field.  Our education system is still segregated and schools located in BIPOC communities often receive less funding. At the professional level, while women of color often dominate the playing field, diversity among coaching staff is limited. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is made up of a majority of Black players, but only four out of 12 coaches are women, and none are women of color.  

We must now build upon Title IX to ensure that BIPOC women have full access to athletic leadership opportunities both on and off the field.  

The Gutting of Title IX’s Harassment and Assault Protections 

Title IX has also been a tool to push back against the insidious threats of sexual harassment and assault on college campuses nationwide. Unfortunately, the outgoing Trump Administration adopted a new regulation that greatly undermines those protections. NOW and our allies are pushing back and are confident that the incoming Biden-Harris administration will reverse this dangerous precedent.  

This is especially important for women of color, who face higher rates of sexual harassment and violence. Women in general, and Black women in particular, are blamed, punished, and shamed for filing claims based on racist and sexist discrimination. And the gutting of Title IX threatens to make the situation worse. 

The new rule: 

  • Allows schools to dismiss any complaints of sexual misconduct that occurred outside of campus-controlled buildings and/or educational activities. This means that students who study abroad or live off-campus (which has increased due to COVID-19) aren’t covered.  
  • Narrows what constitutes as sexual harassment under Title IX, which can prevent survivors from pursuing investigations if they so desire and evidently from accessing justice. 
  • Allows religious institutions can claim a Title IX religious exemption and will have no obligation to inform their students about their Title IX adherence.