CWLC Serves as Amicus in Cases Involving Student Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

The California Women’s Law Center served as amicus in two important cases involving student survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. 

In Boermeester v. Carry, CWLC and Equal Rights Advocates filed an amicus letter urging the California Supreme Court to grant review of the Court of Appeal’s decision. Our amicus letter argues that this decision, the most recent in a string of decisions from the Court of Appeal, has created a gender-biased procedural system in which onerous requirements are imposed in sexual assault and intimate partner violence proceedings, but not in any other disciplinary proceedings. 

This disparate treatment creates two separate tracks—one procedural system for gender-based violence cases and another for all other cases—that feed and lend credence to harmful and false narratives that victims of gender-based violence are inherently untrustworthy, and that perpetrators need additional procedures to protect them from “false” allegations. 

In our continuing effort to protect the rights of survivors, CWLC also filed an amicus brief in the federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts in support of the Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction to block the Trump administration’s harmful changes to Title IX regulations from going into effect. 

This lawsuit was filed by survivor organizations and survivors themselves and it follows another brief CWLC filed last month in the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, which was brought by California and other state Attorneys General. Both lawsuits respond to Title IX regulation changes released by the Department of Education on May 6, 2020, which strip away protections for survivors of sexual assault and harassment on school campuses, and reduce schools’ responsibility to investigate and respond to sexual violence. The lawsuits attempt to block the Final Rule from going into effect as scheduled on August 14, 2020. 

Sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other forms of gender-based discrimination have lifelong impacts on survivors and the campus community. Passed in 1972, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding, but the pervasive problem of sexual assault and harassment prevents many female students from accessing as many educational opportunities as male students. CWLC is committed to ending gender-based violence and ensuring all students have access to the education they deserve. 

Click here to read our letter regarding Boermeester v. Carry, and here to read our Title IX amicus brief.