Petition statement to be delivered to Linda A Klein, President of the ABA, Jack L. Rives, Executive Director of the ABA, Mark Schickman, ABA Chair for the Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Angela Vigil, ABA Special Advisor for Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Chair, Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the ABA, and Kirke Kickingbird, Chair-Elect, Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the ABA

Tell The American Bar Association To Rescind Its New Policy Supporting Second-Class Justice For Rape Victims On College Campuses

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Tell The American Bar Association To Rescind Its New Policy Supporting Second-Class Justice For Rape Victims On College Campuses

To be delivered to Linda A Klein, President of the ABA, Jack L. Rives, Executive Director of the ABA, Mark Schickman, ABA Chair for the Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Angela Vigil, ABA Special Advisor for Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Chair, Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the ABA, and Kirke Kickingbird, Chair-Elect, Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the ABA

Petition Statement

The American Bar Association recently adopted a policy urging colleges to subject victimized women to second-class treatment in campus grievance proceedings. The policy recommends that colleges redress violence and abuse "based on sex" under weaker legal standards than are currently required by federal and state civil rights laws. The ABA's policy offers less legal protections to victimized women compared to the protections afforded students who are victimized, based on other civil rights categories, such race or national origin.

The ABA 's policy departs from well-settled civil rights laws, including Title IX, which have always required that schools treat sex-based harms exactly the same as harms based on other civil rights categories, such as race and national origin. Indeed, the Department of Justice reiterated this critical point in a 2016 Findings Letter against the University Of New Mexico when it wrote that offenses against women must be treated exactly the same as offenses based on race and national origin.

The ABA's new policy discriminates against women and cannot be tolerated.

Why the ABA would adopt such a policy is unclear, but having such a policy in place now enables the ABA to lobby for the enactment of new federal and state laws that will permit schools to subject victimized women to second-class treatment.

The ABA's mission statement includes "GOAL III" which states that the ABA works to "eliminate bias and enhance diversity."

Goal III specifically provides that the ABA will:
Promote FULL and EQUAL participation in ...the justice system for all persons...and ELIMINATE BIAS...

If these noble goals are true, the ABA must immediately rescind its discriminatory policy and issue a revised policy demanding that all schools treat victimized women as fully equal campus citizens, entitled to equitable redress exactly on par with students from other protected class categories, such as race and national origin.
There are currently 1,258 signatures. NEW goal - We need 2,000 signatures!

Petition Background

We are a group of outraged parents whose daughters were subjected to second-class treatment by their colleges. Forced to endure woefully inadequate investigative and disciplinary proceedings that did not comply with civil rights laws, we watched in horror as campus officials cavalierly exonerated offenders whose brutal acts of violent discrimination against our daughters deserved punishment.

Only after the fact did we learn that school officials had subjected our daughters to second class treatment during the investigation and hearing process.

We were then shocked to learn that the American Bar Association had recently recommended that schools subject victimized women to second class treatment, even though women suffer far more violence on campus because they are female than does any other class of student suffer violence because of their race, religion, etc.

Violence against any woman is a civil rights offense against all women. That an organization like the ABA, which purports to be dedicated to ensuring equal justice for all, would mock the very idea of gender equality in education, especially on the virtual eve
of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, is profoundly disturbing.

Please join us in this important initiative to repeal the ABA's discriminatory policy, and voice your support for full gender equality in all schools. For additional information, you may also go to www.pushforequaljustice.org. Feel free to share our message and website with others. Thanks for your support!

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