Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BYU – Back to the Days of Blaming a Rape Victim

Mormon Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, the largest religious university in America, requires its students to adhere to a rigid "Honor Code"that mandates living a “chaste and virtuous life,” “clean language” and abstaining from alcohol and coffee, among other things.

Madi Barney, 20, filed a Title IX complaint against BYU with the Department of Education on Monday alleging that BYU put her on academic hold after they learned that she reported an off-campus rape to the local police in September. Her accused rapist, 39-year-old, Nasir Seidu, has been charged with undressing her and partaking in sexual intercourse without Barney’s consent.

 “Dealing with this hostile environment has been upsetting, re-victimizing, and discouraging, to say the least,” Barney wrote on a petition with more than 87,000 signatures. “It’s clear to me that BYU is not on my side.”

The incident is controversial in Utah, with front page coverage and an editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune critical of the handling of this and other cases. “Without intending to, BYU has given rapists an advantage,” the Salt Lake Tribune said in an editorial.  “If a woman has crossed any of these lines, she faces a different dynamic with a potential assailant, who can essentially say, ‘I’m doing this, and if you tell anybody, we’re both going down.'”