This website began in mid-March 2004 when a
mother and her young daughter realized that the University Police and
staff were more interested in protecting the school's image than in
protecting and assisting young victims of crime. Our first course of
action was to hand out 300 flyers to alert the students that the
University was turning a blind eye to our problem and asking people to
email their own personal stories with the hopes we would learn from them
and perhaps bring change to the way sexual assaults were handled by the
University. Within days, over 100 women had emailed the one
page website to let us know that they had been ignored by the
administration when they reported that they had been assaulted. Clearly
there was a need for a voice for all victims of sexual assault at the
University of Virginia.
"EVEN IF YOU LOSE, YOU'VE SHOWN STRENGTH TO FACE YOUR ATTACKER
AND NAME HIM FOR WHAT
HE IS ... A RAPIST." ~ Olivia Benson
Campus Police, Administrators and Students
know and discuss the issues, Nothing Happens.
Nothing Changes. The number of reported rapes continues to increase each
Brave Survivors are told to "forget it happened". Predators continue to
roam the campus with the full assurance of the UVA Administration that
Nothing will happen to them if they commit a rape crime.
The community of Trust continues to turn a Blind Eye to
campus rape crimes.
UVA supports a Zero Tolerance policy for Cheating, but not for Rape.
UVA Campus Police have
jurisdiction if the crime occurs on campus. WHY?
At a campus meeting held on
25 March 2004, the University publicly acknowledged (and was quoted in
the Cavalier Daily) that no one found guilty of sexual assault during
the previous five years had been suspended or expelled from the
University. In contrast, 38 students were expelled for "honor" offenses
such as cheating or stealing in 2003. Continued FOIA requests confirm a similar
pattern for subsequent years:
During the past ten years
no one found guilty of sexual assault has been suspended or expelled
from UVA despite the student and media attention focused on this issue.
It is apparent that the
Administration would rather sacrifice the emotional well being of the
female victim rather than expel the serial rapist male student.
It is an unacceptable fact to learn that as the
crime statistics for the number of reported rape and sexual assault
cases continues to increase, not one person has been expelled from the
University for committing acts of sexual assault, even when found guilty
by a Sexual Assault Board.
Virginia Crime Commission is studying campus sexual assault
and jurisdictional issues and will release their findings on
Virginia House Bill 2490, also known as
Kathryn's Law, to the
public on Dec 6, 2011.
If you are interested in assisting this project, please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Richmond Times-Dispatch Series, Nov 2011:
VA College Sexual Assaults Rarely End in Arrest, Prosecution
Approach on Major Campus Crimes
Higher Ed Review Seeks Law Review in Wake of Penn State
Read the Roanoke Times Editorial, Nov 23, 2011, endorsing
Report Major Campus Crimes
The Dept of Education
has ruled that UVA Sexual Assault Policies violate the Clery Act.
Very few schools are
found guilty by the DOE! Congratulations to SOC and
uvavictimsofrape for your fortitude in seeing this through!
The 2008 ruling in our Clery Act complaint UVA case is
very important because it was precedent setting.
The Education Department held, for the first time,
that the Clery Act required institutions to permit
sexual assault complainants to share the outcomes of
disciplinary actions taken in their cases even if they
weren't requiring them to formally agree to that in
writing - as had been the case in the Georgetown ruling.
This is very important because most schools
followed the UVA model of simply threatening retaliation
against the woman if she divulged the outcome of the
case. This holding served as the principal basis for a
change in the FERPA regulations (issued shortly after
the ruling itself was handed down) that formalized this
holding across the board.
The Security on
Campus website maintains the DOE findings since 1997.
In 2008 when the UVA findings were released there were only
two DOE findings released that year. The case documents are at:
classified as a Felony crime in Virginia. Rape is not about being
ambiguous when providing consent for sex. Rape should not be confused
with sex. Rape is an act of empowerment. Rape is a crime and the
University must react to it as it would to any other crime.
Unfortunately, since the University Police report to the University
President, they can "sweep this crime under the rug" and silence the
victim by threatening Honor Infractions if they divulge the outcome of
the campus police investigation.
parents, students, and financial donors allow the University to resolve rape crimes as
matters using mediation or secretive Sexual Assault Boards?
Rape is a felony crime in Virginia. Using
an administrative solution to resolve felony crimes is
unacceptable! All other campus crimes are handled by the appropriate law
enforcement officials in compliance with the laws of Virginia. Steal a
computer and you will be arrested and prosecuted; steal a woman's
emotional well being and no one in the Administration or campus police
department will react.
clearly evident to all Survivors that the University is more interested in
protecting its image and raising money
than it is in protecting its female students.
In 2010, the Center
for Public Integrity (CPI) published an investigative series called "A
Frustrating Search for Justice". Journalist Kristen
Lombardi and her staff reviewed more than 33 cases
over a 12 month period and revealed facts that shocked the nation. My
daughter's case is highlighted in the series entitled, "Sexual
Assault on Campus Shrouded in Secrecy".
impact of this investigation (assisted by NPR's coverage) landed CPI
the prestigious Robert
F. Kennedy Award for Justice & Human Rights reporting. Ethel
Kennedy revealed to award recipients that the issue was near and dear to
her heart since a close friend in college was sexually assault. In
addition to this award the series has received the following:
The most important
result of all this was that the U.S. Department of Education paid
attention and released a new Title IX Guidance that will be the standard
used for complaints against universities. In addition to this landmark
Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act promises to update the
Jeanne Clery Act so that sexual and intimate partner violence
proceedings are fair and equitable for both parties.
~ Listen to Kristen Lombardi's WNYC radio interview
Many media outlets
have publicized the way UVA turns its Back on Rape. The most
recent coverage can be found in the September 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan
magazine: CLICK HERE
of UVAVICTIMSOFRAPE are angered and saddened by the deaths
of Morgan Harrington and Yeardley Love. Our thoughts and
prayers are with their family and friends.
CBS news reports that
during the candlelight vigil held for Ms Love on May 5th,
2010 Former President Casteen made the following statement to the crowd
of 2,000 students:
"My hope for Yeardley and for you is that her dying inspires
an anger, a sense of outrage that no woman need ever fear
for their safety."
hundreds of women have been raped on your campus yet not one
predator has been sanctioned or expelled during your period
of leadership. I've read that seven students have died on your campus
during the past academic year. It is clear to every victim
that you are the President of a campus that cultivates a
culture of violence by silencing victims and turning a blind
eye to crime. I am outraged that you are lying to the public
to save your legacy. You should be ashamed, very ashamed.
You are retiring and will be gone from UVA soon, but the
culture of violence against women that grew under your watch
will not end with your departure from Charlottesville..
To the public, do not be
snookered by Casteen's words shared during the emotional and
moving vigil for Ms Love. He said these words back on 2005
(picture left). He said them whenever there was media
attention to a crisis. But he never once provided the
required leadership and
turned these words to action. He always refused to
meet with rape victims & their families, and refused to
bring the University into compliance with Title IX and Clery
UVA women do need to fear for their safety.
If you have a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend
attending to UVA - DISCUSS this issue with them! The
University will not protect or care for them if they are
This site is dedicated to all UVA
Survivors of Sexual Assault.
Your efforts to bring about justice will eventually bring change to the
even when you believe your current efforts have been in vain.