Founded in 2013, Know Your IX has grown from a website dreamed up by two students to a nationally respected organization working to train, guide, and diversify the growing student movement to end gender violence in schools across the country.
Today we are the youth organization at the forefront of the effort to expand the national conversation on campus gender violence beyond the “1 in 5 epidemic” rhetoric to one rooted in a civil rights and equality framework. We have been invited on five different occasions to testify before the United States Senate.
In 2015, POLITICO Magazine named us one of the 50 influencers transforming American politics, and in 2014, the Ms. Foundation and Women’s E-News recognized us for our work leading the equality-focused, youth-powered movement to end gender violence.
Since our founding in 2013, our victories have included:
Winning unprecedented transparency guarantees. In the summer of 2013, Know Your IX organized dozens of student survivors, activists, and allies to travel from all over the country, converge upon the U.S. Department of Education, and presented a petition with over 100,000 signatures demanding improved federal transparency and enforcement of civil rights law. As a result of our efforts, in 2014 the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights published for the first time in history a list of colleges and universities currently under investigation for sexual violence-related Title IX violations — a significant win for students and their families.
Winning increased federal enforcement of civil rights law. In a single year, the number of higher education institutions under investigation for sexual violence-related Title IX violations tripled, from 55 institutions to over 150. Further, the Office for Civil Rights issued formal findings of noncompliance against several institutions — a turning point in federal Title IX enforcement (previously no school in recent memory had been found out of compliance) and a significant victory for Know Your IX in our work to end the pattern of impunity.
Bolstering economic protections for low-income student survivors. Thanks to a joint Know Your IX and United States Student Association campaign, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has made clear that schools that violate Title IX may be required to reimburse survivors for lost tuition and other related expenses. In addition, the Office for Civil Rights has now required several noncompliant institutions, including Southern Methodist University and Princeton University, to reimburse student victims for costs sustained as the result of gender violence in school.
Defeating mandatory police referral legislation at the state and federal levels. Know Your IX worked in partnership with student activists in over 5 states to defeat mandatory police referral laws. For example, KYIX partnered with student activists in Delaware to defeat House Bill 1 (HB1), which would have required schools to hand every single rape report they receive over to the police. Know Your IX also partnered with Black Women’s Blueprint to draft a memo to state legislators about the harmful potential consequences of this bill. The result? HB1 was significantly revised to remove mandatory reporting to the police.
Spurring the creation of the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault under Obama. On January 22, 2014, President Obama created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. A majority of the objectives the President directed to the Task Force were identical to those we had demanded of the Administration in our 2013 rally outside the Department of Education. In April 2014, the White House Task Force released its first report, acknowledging the need for improved coordination among federal agencies and transparency from the Office for Civil Rights. At the official announcement of the report, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan credited Know Your IX with shining a spotlight on the issue and influencing the Department’s thinking on the issue through our 2013 rally. Additionally, the White House’s new “Not Alone” website honored Know Your IX as a key resource for student survivors.
Defeating anti-survivor legislation at the state and federal levels. Know Your IX worked in partnership with student survivors in Missouri to defeat HB 573/SB 259. After student was expelled for sexual misconduct from Washington University in Missouri his dad started a dark money lobbying group to upend Title IX in Missouri. The bill would have stacked the deck against survivors and made it possible for respondents for file complaints against survivors for unsubstantiated complaints. We partnered with students on the ground to ensure this discriminatory bill never passed.