Mahoney Logo
Close this search box.

Illinois Title IX Dating Violence Lawyer

Intimate partner violence, or domestic abuse, is covered under Title IX, which shields college students from gender discrimination. Colleges receiving federal funding must investigate and address allegations of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse and stalking. If you or your child is a victim of college dating violence, Illinois Title IX attorneys at the Mahoney Law Firm can explain your rights and represent you in your Title IX case.

On this page
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Dating violence and domestic abuse, also known as intimate partner violence, include any form of physical, verbal, or sexual violence between individuals in an intimate relationship. The Centers for Disease Control also classifies stalking as dating violence. Both the perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence can be male or female, although young women are statistically at a higher risk than men.

    Dating violence is a serious issue, especially on college campuses where many students are away from home on their own for the first time. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on a student’s gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and sexual identity at publicly funded institutions.

    Until recently, dating violence and Title IX were only mentioned as footnotes in guidance documents provided to the nation’s colleges and universities. However, new rules issued in 2020 widened the umbrella of what Title IX covers. Dating violence is now seen as a form of gender discrimination, and colleges must address it or risk losing federal dollars.

    If you or someone you know has experienced dating violence or domestic abuse on a college campus in Illinois or Missouri, it’s important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Contact the Mahoney Law Firm today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you navigate the Title IX process. We are committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring you receive the justice you deserve.

    Hiring an Attorney for a Dating Violence Title IX Case

    Title IX dating violence violations require specific knowledge of the laws and procedures governing educational institutions. Colleges and universities must properly investigate and address allegations of domestic violence. However, it’s not uncommon for them to attempt to sweep dating violence on campus under the rug to avoid bad publicity. They may even try to allow an abuser to remain in school.

    Attorney Ryan Mahoney and the Mahoney Law Firm seek to hold universities accountable for adhering to federal Title IX procedures and recover compensation for our clients when they do not. When an institution fails to act on reports of dating violence, victims are vulnerable to repeated abuse at the hands of their attacker. Universities that don’t follow Title IX regulations are open to civil lawsuits and be held liable for further abuse.

    Educational institutions bear responsibility for dating violence involving students, even when it happens off campus. If the victim is subjected to a hostile learning environment, retaliation, or harassment for reporting their abuse, the school must act to stop it.

    If you believe that a university failed to properly investigate or act upon your abuse or your child’s abuse, contact the attorneys at Mahoney Law Firm. You may be eligible to file a Title IX civil lawsuit and receive injunctive relief and compensatory damages.

    Dating Violence and Domestic Abuse in College

    Intimate partner violence is rising on college campuses. College students and their families can empower themselves to prevent dating violence, domestic abuse, and other forms of sexual misconduct by understanding what constitutes misconduct and recognizing the signs. Intimate partner abuse includes the following:

    • Physical battery, including hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, biting, burning, and bodily endangerment
    • Sexual abuse, which encompasses rape, unwanted fondling, digital or genital penetration, oral sex, and sexual exploitation
    • Verbal attacks that involve screaming, name-calling, insults, intimidation, and aggressive or violent language
    • Stalking, in which an abuser follows a victim, intending to scare or harm them
    Intimate partner abuse frequently involves forms of psychological abuse, as well, such as isolating the victim from family and friends or gaslighting the victim to maintain control over him or her. Attempts to frighten, deceive or isolate the victim can be signs of domestic abuse or intimate partner violence in a relationship.

    Prevalence & Statistics

    The Centers for Disease Control reports the following statistics on intimate partner violence in the United States:

    • One in three women and one in four men experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
    • One in five women and one in 13 men have experienced sexual violence from an intimate partner.
    • Fourteen percent of women and five percent of men have been stalked by an intimate partner.
    • Over half of female homicide victims die at the hands of a current or former intimate male partner.

    A survey of college students across the country conducted by the Association of American Universities found the prevalence of intimate partner violence among students who had been in a relationship since entering college was as high as 10 percent.

    Signs of Dating Violence & Domestic Abuse

    Many red flags signal someone may be an abusive partner. People around the victim often notice that something doesn’t seem quite right but fail to report their concerns until it’s too late. Signs that someone may be abusive include:

    • Jealousy
    • Possessiveness
    • Unpredictability
    • Irrational anger
    • Cruel or abusive treatment of animals
    • Verbally abusive
    • Controlling
    • Forcing sex on the victim
    • Blaming the victim
    • Isolating the victim from family, friends, and colleagues
    • Demeaning or humiliating the victim
    • Stalking the victim

    If you believe that someone you know is being subjected to dating violence, talk openly with the person in a safe place. Let the victim know that options are available for safely getting out of the abusive situation.

    Effects of Dating Violence

    Dating violence can have far-reaching implications for the victim and his or her loved ones, especially young children who may be involved in a domestic abuse situation. The consequences of intimate partner violence include the following:

    • Physical injury to victims
    • Chronic conditions of the heart, bones, muscles, and nervous, digestive, and reproductive systems
    • Psychological effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety
    • Increased risk for victims of smoking, binge drinking, and sexually risky behavior
    • Economic losses for medical bills, lost productivity from paid work, and criminal justice costs — it’s estimated that female victims lose $103,767 over a lifetime as a result of domestic violence
    • Death

    Tragically, many cases of intimate partner violence are not discovered until it is too late and the victim has already suffered devastating or permanent harm. Support for survivors is available from the Title IX attorneys at Mahoney Law Firm.

    Title IX Protections Against Dating Violence and Domestic Abuse

    Title IX protects people from discrimination based on their sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. It requires colleges and universities to develop policies and procedures to address allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. While Title IX is known for addressing these issues on college campuses, it also covers sex-based discrimination in forms besides sexual harassment and assault, including relationship violence, dating violence and domestic abuse.

    How Does Title IX Address Dating Violence?

    In 2020, the U.S. Department of Education drafted new guidelines that expanded the definition of sexual harassment to include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as forms of protected gender discrimination. Most universities responded by updating their Title IX policies. For example, Illinois State University defines sex discrimination as “sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.”

    Institutions receiving federal funding are now required to address intimate partner violence the same way they treat allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault in schools. They are obligated by law to have school-wide policies to prevent dating violence from occurring in the first place, as well as measures to respond to reports of domestic violence or intimate partner assault and properly support survivors.

    What Is the Definition of Domestic Violence Under Title IX?

    According to Title IX, domestic violence occurs when a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or other intimate partner inflicts abuse upon a victim. Dating violence occurs when a perpetrator is abusive toward the victim while they’re in a romantic or intimate relationship.

    What is the Final Rule under Title IX?

    Title IX’s Final Rule legally requires federally funded educational institutions to investigate and adjudicate sexual harassment complaints as part of a formal grievance process.

    • Regulations implemented in 2020 require colleges and universities to address Title IX cases using certain protocols, including:
    • Having a formal grievance process in place at the college that allows administrators to handle complaints separately from informal resolution measures.
    • Responding correctly to formal complaints of sexual harassment or assault made by a mandatory reporter (e.g., a professor or school counselor).
    • Holding live hearings for Title IX cases that allow for the cross-examination of parties and witnesses through an advisor.
    • Colleges must offer support to survivors, regardless of whether a formal complaint was filed. The Final Rule also requires colleges to act under the presumption of innocence, meaning the accused party is not to be considered responsible for the alleged sexual assault until proven otherwise.

    • Providing a written notice of the allegations involved in the case to both parties, along with giving them the opportunity to review and respond to the claims.

    • Ensuring a timely process, such as completing an investigation and resolution of a Title IX case within the required timeframe.

    Colleges must offer support to survivors, regardless of whether a formal complaint was filed. The Final Rule also requires colleges to act under the presumption of innocence, meaning the accused party is not to be considered responsible for the alleged sexual assault until proven otherwise.

    What Responsibilities Does Title IX Place on Colleges and Universities?

    Under dating violence Title IX rules, public educational institutions are required to take the following actions:

    • Adopt and publish grievance procedures for sex discrimination, including sexual harassment or violence
    • Include clear steps for students to file Title IX complaints
    • Appoint a Title IX coordinator to handle allegations, conduct investigations, and oversee hearings
    • Respond promptly to Title IX complaints
    • Make accommodations to move the victim away from their abuser, including switching dorms and adjusting class schedules
    • Protect complainants from retaliation, bullying, and harassment
    • Report suspected domestic abuse, security concerns, and criminal activity involving students

    The exact measures used to protect students at a college or university in Illinois vary based on the school. Students are encouraged to read the specific policies in place at their colleges for more information.

    Procedures for Reporting Domestic Abuse Under Title IX

    You can file a grievance with your school’s Title IX office or with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). When you file a complaint, an investigation is launched into the allegations. The university will schedule a hearing to review the evidence found during the investigation and to hear from both the complainant and the accused. During this process, you have the right to:

    • Be free from pressure to report or not report your abuse
    • Not be asked questions regarding your past sexual history
    • Not have to confront the perpetrator of your abuse face to face or be questioned by them during the hearing
    • Be protected from retaliation or harassment
    • Have an advocate
    • Have the complaint decided using a preponderance of the evidence standard, meaning that it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred
    • Appeal the findings

    Seek Justice for Dating Violence or Domestic Abuse

    Recent changes to Title IX more clearly outline what constitutes gender discrimination at U.S. colleges and universities, including dating violence and domestic abuse. Under Title IX, victims of intimate partner violence have the same protections and opportunities as victims of sexual assault or harassment. 

    If you’ve reported abuse to your college or university and aren’t satisfied with the response, you have options:

    • File a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). They can open an investigation into how your case is being handled. They may require the school to take remedial measures to comply with Title IX regulations or face referral to the Department of Justice.
    • File a civil lawsuit against the college or university to receive monetary compensation for the damages you’ve suffered due to their failure to act.

    Filing a sexual assault lawsuit for dating violence can provide a greater form of justice to a survivor compared to disciplinary action taken by a college alone. With assistance from an attorney, you may be able to hold an educational institution responsible for failing to prevent the crime committed against you or responding to your Title IX complaint improperly.

    A successful civil lawsuit for dating violence could lead to sanctions brought against the college that may lead to institutional changes that protect future students. It could also lead to a financial recovery for the victim’s damages, such as medical bills, ongoing required care, therapy and psychological counseling, prescription medications, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

    Contact Our Title IX Attorneys in Illinois Today

    If you or someone you know has experienced dating violence or domestic abuse on a college campus in Illinois, it’s important to seek legal counsel. Contact the Illinois Title IX attorneys at Mahoney Law Firm for a free consultation. Let us help you seek the justice and peace of mind you deserve.

    Image of a justice scale
    There for you when you need it most.