Protecting Child Safety at All Levels of Society

9 things I learned by serving on UNC’s Title IX Task Force #UNCIX

The Old well at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill (UNC).

In winter 2013 I was following with great interest the story of activists at UNC making a strong case that the University needed to step up to better serve the needs of students who came forward with reports that they had been sexually assaulted. I had written at the time about the need for the Univerity take decisive action and make a huge step forward in the series of policy changes that we knew that they were contemplating. I probably would have attended many of the upcoming policy meetings as an observer, to see how the process unfolded. I could not have predicted at that time that then-Chancellor Holden Thorp would ask me to serve on UNC’s Title IX Task Force that would actually dive into the policy and suggest major, detailed changes in the way the University handled complaints of sexual assault. Chancellor Thorp knew about my work with Kidpower and abuse prevention efforts. When he called to ask me to serve as a representative of the larger community, I immediately accepted.

Through the skilled guidance of Task Force Chair Christi Hurt and nationally-renowned legal experts Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez, this group gathered to start a process that felt like it started on shaky ground, but truly found its way. I’ll tell more of the story of where we were at the beginning and how we made progress, but I want to write a series of short posts rather than a long epic post–so for now I want to start off saying that this series is based on my own opinion and experience, drawn necessarily from my own memory and sometimes notes I took in meetings. I can only represent my perspective and not speak for anyone else on the Task Force. I will try not to attribute thoughts and feelings to others.

Ultimately, our policy will have to speak for itself and I truly hope that all students at UNC feel well-served by it. Ultimately I feel that we went through a process that had a great deal of integrity, created by a group of people who really cared and wanted to do right by the students every step of the way.

As I write up my posts I will list them here.

1. Why can’t the police just handle sexual assault through the criminal system? Like it or not, colleges have to deal with sexual assault complaints.

2. Sexual Assault on College Campuses/UNC Title IX Task Force lesson 2: Treat all parties with due process, fairness and respect #UNCIX

Campus sexual assault: brief thoughts before I read “The College Rape Overcorrection”

Schedule an interview: Dr. Amy Tiemann is a frequent guest expert discussing parenting, child safety, and abuse prevention. Dr. Tiemann’s combination of perspectives and roles as a scientist, educator, author and parent gives her a unique ability to make an impact on individuals, families, and cultural standards and to create positive social change. To schedule an interview, please contact her publicist Jill Dykes, jill@jilldykespr.com or 919-749-8488

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