Press Releases: 11/06/14

Al Jazeera America (1)

AL JAZEERA AMERICA’S AMERICA TONIGHT RE-EXAMINES CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT ON NEW THREE-PART SERIES, “SEX CRIMES ON CAMPUS – ONE YEAR LATER,” NOVEMBER 10-12 at 9pm ET/6 pm PT

“Sex Crimes on Campus Revisited,” Highlights of Last Year’s Landmark Report, Airs Sunday, November 9 at 7:30pm & 10:30 pm ET
Find Al Jazeera America near you: http://www.aljazeera.com/getajam

NEW YORK, November 6, 2014 – America Tonight, Al Jazeera America’s flagship primetime program, returns to college a year after its October, 2013 landmark report on campus sex crimes. This new, three-part series is an updated, in-depth look at the issue of campus sexual assault, the continuing epidemic, the nation’s response, and disturbing new indications that we may have only touched the tip of the iceberg. “Sex Crimes on Campus – One Year Later” features exclusive personal stories and examines how campus sexual assault has become a central focus of America’s colleges and universities, parents and students and even the White House. “Sex Crimes on Campus – One Year Later,” will debut Monday, November 10 through Wednesday, November 12 at 9pm ET/6pm PT on Al Jazeera America.

Link to promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnrYUDKIJ4 (art work available upon request)

In advance of the new three-part series, Al Jazeera America will present “Sex Crimes on Campus Revisited,” a half-hour special featuring highlights of the original three-part series that aired October 2013, on Sunday, November 9 at 7:30pm and 10:30pm ET and Monday, November 10 at 1:30 am ET.

The Department of Education has launched an unprecedented number of Title IX investigations into colleges’ handling of reports of abuse. Lawmakers have reacted – California just became the first state to require “affirmative consent” in schools that receive public funding. Schools continue to wrestle with how to police the alcohol-fueled breeding grounds for sexual assault on campus, and how to adjudicate assault cases when they arise – protecting victims without violating the rights of the accused.

A Continuing Epidemic (TV exclusive from Joie Chen) – Debuts Monday, Nov. 10 at 9pm ET.
“Rebecca” (her name has been changed) is a student at Kansas University who was allegedly raped in her freshman year. In a story that is all too familiar, Rebecca was drunk at the time. She reported her rape and her attacker was found responsible for sexual misconduct by the university but he was not expelled. Rebecca was forced to see her attacker on campus, causing her to suffer panic attacks. When Rebecca reported the assault to the local district attorney, the DA declined to prosecute.

A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that colleges seldom expel men who are found guilty of assault, permanently kicking out only 10 to 15 percent. But Rebecca’s story doesn’t end there. Her mother watched America Tonight’s town hall last October and learned, to her surprise, that there was a federal law protecting victims of sexual assault on campus – Title IX. Rebecca and her mother filed a complaint and Kansas University is now under federal investigation. Since America Tonight’s initial report, there are 85 schools now under investigation and the White House has publicly named those schools for the first time.

Although there is evidence campus rape is still under-reported, more and more women are speaking up. Some women have put the names of who they say are repeat rapists on bathroom walls at Columbia. While the public naming of attackers has outraged some, advocates are cheering victims who are no longer silent.

The Backlash – Debuts Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 9pm ET.

Correspondent Christof Putzel investigates the backlash and explores the question… is there a dark side to Title IX? Many men are fighting back against accusations they have assaulted women on campus. Men are suing schools claiming discrimination under Title IX. Vassar, Bucknell, Duke, Swarthmore, University of Michigan are some of the schools being sued. In fact, the largest university insurer found in a five year study that 72% of the money paid out by colleges in such cases went to the accused men, rather than the alleged victims. Men are claiming they are being denied due process in campus proceedings, and even that they are victims of reverse sex discrimination. America Tonight profiles one of the men who is fighting back and the group of mothers who have mobilized to protect their sons and other men from what they see as a process unfairly stacked against them.

High School – Still under the Radar (from Lori Jane Gliha) – Debuts Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 9pm ET.

When 17-year-old Rachel Bradshaw (Rachel is now 21 years old) reported that she was raped in the band room of her high school in Henderson, Texas, the school accused her of “public lewdness” and sent her to a special disciplinary school … along with her alleged abuser. Rachel fought back and filed a Title IX complaint and was eventually transferred to another school. The Department of Education found that the school failed to investigate the case or to provide a legitimate reason for banishing her to the disciplinary school. Her case is just one example of the vastly underreported problem of sexual assault in high school. Twenty-three elementary and secondary school districts are currently under federal investigation for Title IX violations related to sexual violence, but experts say the problem is far bigger than that, and that high schools, compared to colleges, are in the “dark ages.”

“Sex Crimes on Campus Revisited” – Highlights of Last Year’s Report (from October, 2013) – Airs Sunday, Nov. 9 at 7:30pm & 10:30 pm ET.

In its groundbreaking report last year, America Tonight examined the growing concern over campus sexual assault. The report brought campus sexual assault out of the shadows. With students, professors, experts, and parents weighing in, America Tonight looked at the campus culture that may fuel campus assaults, the role of alcohol, and whether colleges and universities are handling complaints of assault in an effective and fair way. The program also explored the latest research on college rapists, a large percentage of whom appear to be serial rapists.

Joie Chen reports on the two young women who filed a federal complaint against the University of North Carolina for its handling of their assault cases. They forged a path for other victims and launched a national movement to shine a light on campus assault which has helped propel the issue into the national spotlight. Sarah Hoye tells the story of Laura Dunn, a promising student and athlete at the University of Wisconsin who also thought college was a safe and carefree place, until she was raped by two fellow students. The piece also delves into the research of Lynn Phillips about the dangers of the hook up culture and the hyper-sexualized messages the culture sends young women. Finally, Chris Bury reports on the shocking research that reveals that most campus rapes are committed by a small group of serial rapists. Drawing on verbatim interviews he conducted with admitted rapists, Dr. David Lisak gives a chilling portrait of the methods used by these sexual predators on campus.

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