Federal government sides with 2 women suing Kansas State

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — Two women who are suing Kansas State University for refusing to investigate complaints that they were raped off-campus are getting support from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education say in a court brief that the university is incorrect in its conclusion that it isn’t responsible for what happens at off-campus fraternity houses.

Sara Weckhorst of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Tessa Farmer of Overland Park have filed separate federal lawsuits accusing Kansas State of violating Title IX, the gender discrimination law that protects students from sexual violence and harassment.

“The continuing effects of student-on-student rape, including the constant fear of exposure to one’s assailant, can render a student’s educational environment hostile,” court documents said. “Thus, a school must respond to allegations of sexual assault in fraternity activities to determine if a hostile environment exists there or in any other education program or activity.”

FOX 4 generally doesn’t name sexual assault victims, but the two women have gone public with their case to stand up for victims of rape on college campuses.