In this post, I would just like to take the time to recognize a wonderful victory for survivors of sexual violence on college campuses. Know Your Title IX, a national campaign fighting to end college sexual violence, recently released a letter from the Department of Education. In this letter, the department rights notes many key things as to the protection of survivors. For my purposes, the one thing I want to point out is their statement that “[i]f a school determines that it needs to offer counseling to the complainant as part of its Title IX obligation to take steps to protect the complainant while the investigation is ongoing, it must not require the complainant to pay for this service.” That means, if a survivor requires counseling, the university or college may NOT charge the survivor for these services.
This is truly a victory not only on the basis of gender and economics, but mental health justice as well. Given that survivors are 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and 26 more times more likely to abuse drugs, mental health services are integral to the well-being of survivors. Such a determination both recognizes the intersection between mental health and survivors, and works to protect survivors.