Sam Bruton/Staff Photographer
Leah Carnahan speaks to students about campus resources and Title IX.

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TCU has created a new position to support victims of sexual assault.

The director of Title IX advocacy and education is a certified advocate who can offer confidentiality to those seeking.

Leah Carnahan, who most recently was an assistant dean in Campus Life, formally took on the role on June 1.

Dr. Darron Turner, TCU’s Title IX coordinator, said Carnahan’s new role is as certified advocate and that she now has confidentiality to those with whom she talks.

This new position comes as colleges and universities across the country grapple with the rules of Title IX.

Turner said when the news broke this past spring about Baylor University’s mishandling sexual assault cases against football players, “TCU was already in the process of looking into their Title IX policies.”

“We are always talking with students about what is most needed, and we are always looking to make adjustments to our policy as we see fit,” said Turner.

He added that having a victim advocate who has confidentiality when talking with students isn’t required by law.

Carnahan, who has worked at TCU for 14 years, has been doing advocacy work as the assistant Dean of Campus Life for the past three years.

“To know I can make a difference and help someone through a very difficult process is what keeps me going,” said Carnahan. “When students choose to tell their parents and the parents thank me for being here to support their child is also why I do the work I do.”

Carnahan’s duties include educating students and serving as an advocate for students reporting to law enforcement, the Title IX coordinator or any mandatory reporter for TCU.

“Come and speak to me as the campus advocate to know more about your rights, options and resources,” said Carnahan. “If students are not comfortable with that, I always encourage students struggling with anything to reach out and speak with a counselor at the counseling center.”

Part of Carnahan’s job is to provide immediate crisis support, information and referral to student victims. This includes an on-call crisis response when a student chooses to go to the hospital.

“We will talk about reporting options, support resources for physical and emotional wellbeing as well other options available to them,” said Carnahan.