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College Policies Deter Rape Reporting

Like many other religious colleges, Brigham Young University has an “honor code” which the University requires all freshmen to sign.  The Code prohibits premarital sex, drinking, use of drugs, and many other activities.  A 20-year-old Brigham Young coed recently reported to the University that she had been raped and that she had used LSD that same evening.  Instead of overlooking the campus drug violation, the University suspended her.  This is not the first such act of retaliation by the school against rape victims – a recent New York Times Article [1] described similar experiences of three other BYU students.

According to Adele P. Kimmel, a senior lawyer at Public Justice, a non-profit that advocates social justice issues, “all schools know that drugs and alcohol are often involved in sexual violence”.  She says that if a College wants to send a message to students that is is serious about preventing sexual violence, it needs to have an amnesty policy.  Many colleges have such clauses to their honor codes that protect victims of any kind of violence who might worry about getting in trouble for the drug and alcohol infractions surrounding their attack.  BYU’s failure to have such a clause, and its insistence on prosecuting such infractions, could keep students from reporting sexual assaults to the university for fear of being investigated, suspended or even potentially losing a scholarship.  These fears let the perpetrators of campus violence escape discipline, putting all students at an increased risk.

If you or a family member was the victim of a campus assault call us immediately because there may be deadlines that apply. We will give you a free consultation and can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.

Author: Serena C. Montague
Publication Date: May 10, 2016

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/27/us/rape-victims-brigham-young-university-honor-code-suspensions.html?_r=0



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