Wouldn’t it be nice if just once in Washington, helping one group didn’t mean hurting another?
Well that day is not today, as Vice President Joe Biden continued to push efforts designed to help female students who have been sexually assaulted that will actually remove due process for the men accused.
Announcing the results of the first report from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and a question-and-answer document from the Department of Education, Biden made clear that men are 100 percent to blame, even when both parties are intoxicated.
The recommendations outlined in the report contain some mild, non-controversial measures, including clearly articulating campus rules and guidelines, urging colleges to adopt policies that have shown success at other campuses and to ensure sexual assault reporting remains confidential.
But other recommendations perpetuate a culture of presuming a man is guilty before any evidence is presented.
The report begins with a ridiculous statistic that “one in five women is sexually assaulted in college.” American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers recently debunked this statistic from the Centers for Disease Control by pointing out that the number was wildly different from the Department of Justice's own crime statistics.
Sommers noted that the CDC arrived at their one-in-five statistic by counting all alcohol-induced sexual encounters (even those between committed partners or married couples) as rape, and other outrageous responses. This inflates the statistic and prevents meaningful reforms from taking place.
That false statistic aside, the task force's recommendations help remove due process from the accused by branding students as rapists based on limited evidence and allowing accusers to appeal a not-guilty finding by campus disciplinary panels.
Rape is a serious problem, but even on college campuses, “innocent until proven guilty” should prevail.