Some may fear to exercise their rights under Title IX because of negative repercussions, but taking action against someone simply because they file a Title IX complaint or because they have been accused is illegal.
Under Title IX, retaliatory acts are also discrimination. It is discrimination even in cases where an original complaint of sexual discrimination is eventually found to have no basis. Typically, professors and school officials have more power to retaliate against an accuser – for instance, by giving a poor grade, prohibiting a student from participation in campus activities, or denying tenure or raises to a professor who reports Title IX violations within their department. But students and student organizations can also be found responsible for.
Even seemingly innocuous actions can constitute retaliation. People accused of misconduct may approach their accuser directly in the belief that everything has been a misunderstanding. They think they can convince the accuser to withdraw the complaint. In such an event, they can quickly find themselves subject to a knock-on accusation of retaliation.
The sooner you involve a qualified attorney in a Title IX matter, the better you will be able to navigate such pitfalls. Likewise, if you are the victim of sexual discrimination, harassment, or assault, a lawyer will be able to recognize retaliation that you may be unaware of, but which is hurting you and compromising your case. Of course, if you are accused of retaliation you should engage counsel to defend yourself as with any other Title IX charge.