For assistance, counseling, and referrals to local advocacy centers, please call the hotline below.   You are  NOT  alone.


National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE (4673) / chat at /



  • Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

  •  Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding

  •  Under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments. Failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding.


  • Every school should have a sexual harassment policy that defines what the behavior is and how to report.

  • These policies are usually the responsibility of the School Board and based on state policies. 

  • A school’s Title IX plan should also be easily accessible on its website. 

  • This plan should provide clear descriptions of student rights and the school’s responsibilities to ensure that all students have access to an education free from fear of, or actual, violence and harassment. Title IX addresses both individual incidents and “hostile environments” that impact a student’s ability to learn. The plan should clearly explain how and when Title IX reports are made, how they are investigated, how violations are addressed, and what rights and resources are available to the parties involved in a Title IX investigation.

  • After identifying the school’s policies and Title IX plan (or lack thereof), parents can educate themselves on what is required by Title IX, to see if the existing plan adequately addresses everything required by the law and recommended by Title IX experts

  • If your school does not have a clear Title IX plan, parents can get involved. Request a meeting with the District Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Coordinator for a school (they should be identified on the school website; if not, start with the district Superintendent). Let them know you are interested in knowing more about their policies. This meeting will give you an idea of whether the schools have adequately addressed this issue. Bring someone who has a working knowledge of Title IX (see above) to the meeting with the school and make it clear your interest is to learn more and, if needed, help the school work towards a “gold standard” Title IX plan and response.

  • Some things you can learn from your meeting: when and by whom are the Title IX coordinators trained? Who is responsible for conducting Title IX investigations and how are they trained? Are students and staff all aware of their Title IX rights? How does the school ensure this? Does the school have a partnership with confidential advocates to help victim/survivors and their families navigate the process of a report?

  • If your school does not have the answers to these questions, you can contact your State Department of Education to find out how training can be provided to the schools, and if it can provide best practice recommendations. Local colleges can also be a source for Title IX training.