From: Justin Mayhew, Public Policy Polling®

To: Interested Parties

Subject: Voters Nationwide Overwhelmingly Support Title IX, Other Protections for Survivors of College and K-12 Sexual Assault

Date: May 16, 2017

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that U.S. voters are decisively in favor of a number of government provisions protecting survivors of sexual assault on college campuses and K-12 schools, and they want the government to continue enforcing them.  More than three in four voters (78%) support Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, including by protecting the educational rights of survivors of sexual assault, and the vast majority (87%) back the 2011 U.S. Department of Education guidance that outlines colleges’ responsibilities to promptly investigate reports of sexual assault and provide accommodations and services to students who have been sexually assaulted. The public support for both provisions is bipartisan, diverse, and broad-based, with more than 70% of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, those who voted for Trump in the 2016 election, women, men, and voters in all four age groups in favor of continuing to enforce these government protections for sexual assault survivors.

The following are key findings from a nationally representative survey of 888 registered voters, conducted May 5-7, 2017 on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center:

  • U.S. voters view sexual assault as a major issue in the country today. More than nine in ten voters (92%) say that sexual assault is a serious problem, with 63% saying it is a “very serious” problem.
  • When it comes to sexual assault in schools, U.S. voters agree that educational institutions must proactively deal with sexual violence in their schools: 94% of voters nationwide agree that K-12 schools, colleges, and universities have a responsibility to address campus sexual assault, with 83% agreeing “strongly.”
  • A similar proportion support using the preponderance of evidence standard in student discipline proceedings—with 94% agreeing that a school should discipline a student who more likely than not raped or sexually assaulted a classmate.
  • In a rebuke of state lawmakers who promote bills that would force college survivors to report assaults to law enforcement against their will, 74% of voters support policies that allow survivors to choose whether to report their assault to their school, the police, both, or neither.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of voters are survivors of sexual assault and more than half (51%) know someone who has been sexually assaulted.

PPP surveyed 888 registered voters nationwide from May 5-7, 2017. The margin of error for the survey is  +/-3.3%; 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the Internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones.