Sunday, February 28, 2010

NPR uncovers the failure universities to offer rape victims justice and protection

As I drove home Friday, NPR reported on the horrific inability of American universities to deal with sexual assaults on campus.
Margaux's story is fairly typical for the many women who are sexually assaulted on college campuses. And what's also common is the failure of even the best-intentioned colleges and universities to investigate a criminal matter like rape — and then punish it.

NPR's investigative team collaborated with journalists at the Center for Public Integrity to examine why colleges and universities fail to protect women from assault. The investigation found that even when a man has been found responsible for a sexual assault, he's rarely expelled. And women haven't been able to count on help from the government oversight agency, either.

Even worse, in Margaux's case there seems to be plenty of evidence (the rapist confessed in a school hearing!) but the police refuse to prosecute. This had me literally shouting at my radio. Why is there a special campus process for dealing with students raping students? Surely this is not the case for homicide or grand larceny? The punishment for a rapist shouldn't be expulsion, as this story suggests, but jail.

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