When allegations of sexual misconduct arise, the consequences can be severe for all parties involved. In the context of schools and universities, an important federal law comes into play to safeguard students from such abuse: Title IX

This law mandates that any educational institution receiving federal funding cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. This includes protection from sexual harassment or misconduct. 

Schools must implement rules requiring consent in sexual situations, known as affirmative consent. So, what exactly is affirmative consent?

Affirmative consent is a definite and unambiguous mutual agreement between individuals to participate in sexual activity. It is essential to obtain consent before any sexual activity, no matter the situation. 

Both parties are responsible for ensuring that affirmative consent is obtained. It means both individuals should ask for permission to engage in sexual activities and mutually understand each other’s boundaries.

A lack of protest or silence does not mean consent; it is the responsibility of the parties involved to communicate affirmatively. Therefore, affirmative consent should be ongoing throughout the sexual activities and can be withdrawn at any time. One person can change their mind and withdraw their consent even if the activity has already begun.

Affirmative consent should consist of verbal or physical cues to confirm a clear understanding of the situation. It must be given through unmistakable words or actions, and the individual(s) must be in a clear state of mind without coercion or any external influence. Physical force, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion are unacceptable means of obtaining affirmative consent. 

Someone accused of sexual assault cannot use their own intoxication or recklessness as an excuse for not knowing if someone has consented. 

In cases where the accused individual was aware or ought to have been aware that the complainant was asleep, unconscious, or incapable of providing consent due to drug or alcohol use, medication, or physical/mental conditions, affirmative consent cannot be considered as given.

It’s essential to recognize that alcohol or drugs affect a person’s ability to give affirmative consent. When intoxicated, people may have dulled senses and therefore have difficulties properly communicating their desires and boundaries. Someone who is intoxicated to the point of incapacitation cannot give affirmative consent.

To ensure affirmative consent, both parties must continuously communicate and check in with each other throughout the sexual encounter. It is essential to establish boundaries and respect them. Any deviation from these agreements, even if it seems consensual, can constitute sexual assault and a violation of the Title IX policies of your school or university. 

How a Lawyer Can Help Defend You Against Title IX Allegations

If you are facing allegations of violating Title IX, hiring a lawyer to represent you may be one of the most significant decisions you make. Here’s how a lawyer can help:

Explain the Process

Many people facing Title IX allegations are understandably confused and overwhelmed, and having a knowledgeable attorney by their side can be extremely beneficial. They can explain the steps involved in a Title IX case, the types of evidence that will be considered, and potential outcomes.

They can also assist you in defending your rights and interests during the process. For instance, they may ensure that you do not incriminate yourself by accompanying you to all meetings and interviews so you avoid giving statements that could be used against you.

Negotiate with the Other Party 

A lawyer can assist you in negotiating with the other parties involved to reach a fair and just resolution. This may entail negotiating with school officials, administrators, or other parties to come to an agreement that suits everyone involved. 

Represent You in Administrative Hearings 

If the case moves to an administrative hearing, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer to represent you. An experienced Title IX lawyer understands the administrative hearing process and can assist you in presenting a compelling case. 

They can argue on your behalf, present evidence and testimony, and cross-examine witnesses. They can also prepare you for what to expect during the hearing and provide guidance throughout the entire process.

Appeal Any Adverse Decisions 

An experienced Title IX defense lawyer can help you get ready for the appeals process, file the necessary paperwork, and represent you at the appeals hearing.

A Dayton Title IX Attorney Can Help With Your Defense

It’s critical to know how to defend yourself in Title IX cases when accused of sexual assault. The complexity of the law and the potential consequences this accusation can have on your life makes it essential to work with an experienced and skilled defense attorney 

Contact the Dayton Title IX Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the Title IX attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (937) 531-0435 or visit us at our Dayton law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402
United States