4/14/2011

Will the victim blaming stop in Berea College Sexual Assault

Will the victim blaming stop in the Berea College sexual assault case? You can also read more on an earlier blog post. Here's some background on what reportedly has happened.

A young woman reported being sexually assaulted by a professor last year. The prof was indicted and then pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in January. In March, a lawsuit was filed against the college by the victim. In an email to college students (found on a petition at Change.org)

The result is that legal counsel blamed the victim for any injuries that resulted from the sexual assault. Now, we all know that no means no and that the victim is never at fault. However, it looks like the legal counsel skipped class the day that lesson was taught.

In the email to college students, Berea College president Larry Shinn reported that the legal counsel was retained by the insurance company of the school. He also said that the counsel was directed by the school to delete that line of defense.

This blogger applauds Shinn for taking that step on behalf of Berea College. Sexual assault is not a joke. I've spoken with many victims through the years who were wrongly blamed before being raped or sexually assaulted. It seem to me that virtually every person went on to develop just as many problems from the blaming as with the actual sexual assault itself.

Now, a question has arisen on whether legal counsel actually complied. An article by the Richmond Register states that the legal defense is now saying that any possible injuries "were caused and/or brought about by pre-existing condition".

To me, that sounds like repackaged victim blaming and I wish it would stop. How about you?

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2 comments:

  1. This makes me so angry, Gayle. Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive, but just yesterday I was reading the headline about the woman who was raped at the Denver Airport (airport employees witnessed it and did nothing, but later, two other employees saw the continuing rape and called police). The headline said, "Woman says she was raped at Denver Airport". Woman says. Woman SAYS...as though it was in doubt; the crime was witnessed!!! Why is it always questioned as if the victim of the crime is making crazy allegations?
    We have a LONG way to go in raising awareness. Thanks for keeping up your good work!

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  2. Please keep us up-to-date on this and other similar topics. rcj

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