By Ashe Schow at Washington Examiner
To combat wrongful accusations of sexual assault on college campuses, a pro-due process group is distributing flyers meant to prepare young men for potential expulsion.
The organization, Families Advocating for Campus Equality has already begun distributing the flyers on California campuses, where “yes means yes” consent policies were adopted last year. The policies purport to make clear what is and isn’t consent, but make it impossible for accused students to prove their innocence and in fact redefine normal human actions as rape.
“This flyer was created by a small group of California mothers of sons, including some whose sons have been falsely accused, to raise awareness of the propensity of college and university disciplinary panels to find male students guilty of sexual misconduct, often with no evidence except the accuser’s claim, and frequently in the presence of tangible evidence to the contrary,” said Cynthia Garrett, an attorney and board member of FACE.
The flyer includes a large image of a text conversation between two Occidental College students, identified as John Doe and Jane. Even though texts between the two appeared to prove consent and police found no evidence to the contrary, John Doe was expelled from campus and is now suing the school.
The flyer warns students: “If she has touched alcohol, do not touch her” (Emphasis original). It also advises students to “Document and save her consent; never delete conversations.”
These may seem like dire pieces of advice, but given the current culture surrounding sexual assault — where any amount of alcohol can be used to negate consent and accused students are forced to prove their innocence — the warnings are necessary.
The flyer also provides sober guidance on what to do once accused of sexual assault: “Your college will treat you as guilty under current interpretations of Federal Title IX.” Students are also advised to consult a lawyer before defending themselves to their university, saying schools “will not help you prove your innocence.”
The flyer tells students to call their parents if they are accused, and to “not be ashamed of being falsely accused.” The group behind the flyer also tells students: “Prepare to fight for your future.”
Garrett says her group has “encountered many young men who were literally blindsided by false accusations of sexual assault made by a former girlfriend or someone whom they honestly believed had consented to a sexual encounter.” She stressed that the purpose of the flyer “is not only to encourage young men to carefully adhere to campus policies, but also to alert them to the possibility that they could be falsely accused.”
(Full disclosure: I have spoken to a group of FACE members about the media’s role in perpetuating the alleged campus sexual assault crisis.)
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously claimed that multiple groups were distributing the flyer, when in fact the groups listed at the bottom of the flyer are places where students can get more information, not a list of groups involved in the distribution of the flyers.