creative dating idea lds - Dating violence among high school and college students

Afterward, she still felt confused and upset, and asked the dean whether her decision to report was “too much.” The dean reassured Ortiz that it was the dean’s job to mediate “trouble” between students, according to the Title IX complaint Ortiz’s lawyer later filed against her school.

It wasn’t until Ortiz contacted that lawyer that she learned her civil rights may have been violated.“Now it’s clear to me that the dean thought what happened was just a dispute, and that I was just being a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Ortiz said.

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Olivia Ortiz met her first boyfriend when she was an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Chicago.

She said she set “pretty strong sexual boundaries” with him from the start: He was a 21-year-old senior, but he was also her first kiss, and she told him she didn’t want to go any further than that until she felt comfortable.

She suggested Ortiz speak to the dean of students, who offered to set up an informal mediation between Ortiz and her ex.

Informal mediations are prohibited under federal gender equity law Title IX, as well as the University of Chicago’s own policies, even on a voluntary basis, "in matters involving allegations of sexual assault." But Ortiz didn't know that, and the dean who suggested the process didn’t tell her.

The adjudication process is meant to be swifter and less harsh than the criminal justice system: Students are sanctioned for disciplinary misconduct, not found guilty of a crime.

The process also provides students with interim safety measures and other resources that the police cannot.

That may be because college dating violence victims are often dismissed as being young and inexperienced, Bolger said.

When people think of domestic violence, they think of marriage and children, not first-time relationships built over late-night fries in the cafeteria.“Students may live in a different dorm than their perpetrator,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean their lives and education aren’t threatened.” During the University of Chicago mediation, Ortiz broke down in tears as the dean lectured her ex for hurting her feelings.

Even so, “schools are totally lost on how to respond to violence when it occurs in the context of a dating relationship,” said Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, an activist group that has lobbied for dating violence to be taken seriously on campuses.

Activists have long felt frustrated that physical, emotional and psychological abuse is seen as secondary to sexual assault, unless a student is seriously injured or killed.

The two dated from fall 2011 into the following spring, when Ortiz told a friend that her boyfriend touched her and made her touch him when she didn’t want to. But it was also the only relationship Ortiz had ever known.

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