Know Your IX envisions a world in which all students can pursue their civil right to education free from gender violence and harassment. We recognize the full range of harms—educational, emotional, psychological, financial, stigmatic—that student survivors suffer due to violence; accordingly, we draw upon the civil rights law Title IX as an alternative remedy, outside of the criminal legal system, that more comprehensively responds to the diversity of these harms.
Know Your IX’s mission is to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in schools. We work to accomplish our mission through a series of interlocking objectives: 1) educating college and high school students in the United States about their legal rights to safe educations free from gender-based harms; 2) training, organizing, and supporting student survivor activists in challenging their educational institutions to address violence and discrimination; and 3) advocating for policy change at the campus, state, and federal levels to ensure meaningful systemic action to end gender violence. History
In the two years since our
founding, Know Your IX has grown from a website dreamed up by two students to a
nationally respected organization empowering students to end gender violence at
high schools and colleges across the country. Know Your IX maintains a
one-stop-shop, information-rich website
and provides support
to student survivors at more than 200 schools through in-person activist bootcamps, online teach-ins, monthly
newsletters, individual strategy consultation and implementation support, a
suite of informational posters, graphics, and stickers, and Know Your Rights
Facebook “ads”. Our work and commentary is featured regularly in the national press
, the White House attributed the creation of its recent task force on
campus sexual violence to our activism, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
publicly thanked Know Your IX for demanding his attention -- and the country’s
POLITICO Magazine named Know Your IX one of the 50 ideas transforming American politics in 2015
- We affirm every survivor’s right to seek justice and healing in the way that they choose. We support the choices survivors make—whether or not to report, and to whom to report—and recognize that these choices are particularly difficult because our laws and communities offer victims a severely limited set of options. Given the tremendous flaws and violence of the criminal legal system, we celebrate Title IX’s potential to create effective anti-carceral responses to serious harms, while recognizing this promise has not yet been realized.
- We recognize that sexual and dating violence are manifestations of systemic gender oppression, which cannot be separated from all other forms of oppression, including but not limited to racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism. The experiences of survivors are shaped by their individual identities and these connected systems of oppression. We also recognize that institutions play a central role in enabling these systems of violence and oppression.
- We recognize that people of all identities can experience and be affected by gender violence. We strive to challenge narrow and inaccurate representations of what assault, violence, and survivorship look like. We also acknowledge that these forms of violence disproportionately affect people of color, women, transgender, and gender nonconforming people. With this understanding, we work to ensure inclusive policies and accessible resources in schools.
- We affirm direct action as a tactic to challenge the silencing of survivors and pressure college administrations to act on the needs of survivors and help carry the weight of gender-based violence. Direct action exposes the violence normalized by our institutions and larger society.
- We seek to foster transparency around issues of sexual and dating violence because we believe that a bottom-up approach to building power is the only way to achieve justice.
- We recognize that public conversations around sexual and dating violence often focus on white, straight-presenting, and cisgender female survivors. With this understanding, we work to amplify the voices and support the work of groups often marginalized within these conversations.
- We recognize that survivors and student activists on the ground are the experts on their own needs on campus, and aim to center student and survivor leadership in setting the goals and strategies of our campaigns.
- We believe that ending sexual and dating violence on college campuses is central to making higher education accessible for all students, and part of the broader struggle for education justice.
- We support campus-based adjudication of sexual and dating violence cases as an alternative option to the criminal justice system, and oppose efforts to make reporting to law enforcement the only or primary option for college survivors of sexual and dating violence.
- We recognize that surveillance, coercion, incarceration, imperialism, and ideologies of normalcy are tools of state dominance, and we recall the (continuing) histories of the state’s co-optation of progressive movements’ practices and goals. We aim to resist and reject the violence of the state in and through our work. We believe no one is disposable and also affirm the importance of holding individuals accountable for the harm they cause.
- We seek to create regional and national communities of activists who share these values and work together to address sexual and dating violence on our campuses.