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The trauma of a false assault allegation on students

Sexual assault is certainly a troubling issue, and one that has been discussed and debated at length in the college environment. In recent years, it seems more and more people are coming forward to report such incidents at school. At the same time, unfortunately, reports about shoddy investigation practices and unfairly harsh penalties have also come to light.

This has created an atmosphere of considerable concern not just for those students who have allegedly been assaulted but also for those students who have been punished and kicked out of school for false or embellished accusations.

For instance, this recent article in The Daily Beast examined several different cases involving students who say they were wrongfully accused of sexual assault. In each of them, the young people detail the ways in which their lives have been changed and destroyed by the allegations. 

In the stories, the students say they were suspended and/or expelled from school. Additionally, they experienced overwhelming shame and embarrassment, not to mention the anxiety, stress and depression of being falsely accused and targeted by school officials. Full recovery, the article points out, is not something the students expect to achieve even in cases where the charges were dropped or the student was found not guilty.

Most cases involving sexual assault allegations on college campuses are anything but straightforward which means it is up to the school to do its own investigation. Sadly, more than 100 institutions have been found to have mishandled these cases and violated the Title IX statute that is in place to enforce reform of sexual assault investigation procedures.

What this means is that in too many cases, students accused of assault are at risk of being subjected to unfair or abusive investigation practices as well as inconsistencies in enforcement. In some cases, people believe punishments are anything but harsh while in other cases, they appear to be overly harsh to make up for perceived leniency.

Because of how costly and devastating false sexual assault allegations can be for college students, it is crucial that they have legal support and guidance. Whether it is a college or the state investigating sexual assault allegations, having an attorney by your side to protect your rights and help you defend yourself and your future will be vital.

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