Over a month ago we waved goodbye to our daughter at college. Like all parents, we worried about her safety. Statistics show she will have to navigate around clear and present danger on campus.

Before she went, we learned that young women like her — living away from home for the first time — are prime targets for sexual assault during the first six months of their college life. Apparently, that’s when the highest number of assaults typically occur.

We were informed that some upperclassmen actually consider deflowering a fresh batch of gullible girls a competition. Add pot smoking and binge drinking hard liquor, and you have the perfect storm for sexual encounters that lack explicit consent.

For years, colleges and universities could and did downplay accusations of sexual misconduct, harassment and worse on campuses. Female students could and did suffer degradation from male peers who often acted with impunity.

The Obama-era Title IX protections were an attempt to change a culture inclined to look the other way with sexual assault accusations. The administration’s guidance — outlined to thousands of educational institutions in a 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter — forced schools to adopt tougher responses to those cases.

Compliance was mandatory. Continued federal funding was at stake. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education. Schools must be damn sure that sexual violence doesn’t get in the way of a student’s right to learn alongside her male peers.

Educators were reminded that they have a legal obligation to probe sexual assault cases — even if there is an ongoing criminal investigation underway. Educational institutions do not hold criminal proceedings. They are not courts, Betsy DeVos. They cannot sentence anyone to prison.

But school tribunals can suspend or expel a student found guilty of breaking the school’s code of conduct by engaging in prohibited, often illegal behavior — including sexual violence. Campus deliberations send a message to the academic community about conduct required to ensure protection.

The biggest change in the Title IX directives issued by the Obama administration was to allow school disciplinary proceedings to make judgments based on the weight, not the quantity of evidence. In essence, that means if more than 50 percent of the evidence gathered points to the guilt of the accused, schools can hold that student responsible and take appropriate action. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt was reserved for criminal trial lawyers — not schools trying to protect the safety of students and uphold campus standards.

The Title IX letter was drafted in direct response to the alarming rates of campus sexual assaults reported. It empowered victims of campus rape to seek recourse instead of cowering in the shadows. The guidance reaffirmed the responsibility of educational institutions to provide for the rights of all parties involved in a campus sexual assault case.

The rules plainly stated: “The parties must have equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence. The complainant and the alleged perpetrator must be afforded similar and timely access to any information that will be used at the hearing.” Balancing the rights of the accused with the rights of the accuser was key to a fair outcome.

But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a mom with daughters, recently declared the Title IX progress a failure based on a handful of complaints from men’s rights advocates about unfair findings. DeVos never produced any data to suggest that a preponderance of male college students, accused of rape, were being victimized themselves.

She didn’t address the preponderance of campus rapes, sexual assaults or ongoing harassment that go unreported because survivors don’t expect anything but more trauma in return. DeVos knows (or should know) the processes for survivor and accused in sexual assault cases have historically been entirely unequal — with survivors horribly disadvantaged.

Yet she floated the same kind of false equivalency her boss did — about fascists and their protesters — with sexual assault victims and their accused predators who claim to be victimized by a lack of due process. To continue the Trump administration’s obsession with indiscriminately dismantling the Obama legacy, the woman who could have rejected attempts to weaken Title IX campus policy did the opposite.

DeVos rescinded rules designed to advance women’s rights and rolled back critical protections for victims of sexual assault, including guarantees that they not be denied access to an education. She gave schools the discretion to set their own evidentiary standards, including beyond a reasonable doubt.

The federal government has enormous clout to affect the sexual violence narrative. It can reinforce presumption of innocence while strengthening support for the violated. My daughter and her female peers live in a culture that considers them conquests. They need champions.

DeVos chose to look the other way. Outrageous.

Johanek is a veteran print and broadcast journalist.