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Mormon University and victim blaming

(15 Posts)
MoonriseKingdom Sat 30-Apr-16 13:47:39

Sad article about the way in which rape victims are treated at a Mormon University in the US. Well done to the young woman in the article who is exposing the terrible treatment she received.

MoonriseKingdom Sat 30-Apr-16 13:48:44

DoctorBeat Sat 30-Apr-16 13:56:28


Ludways Sat 30-Apr-16 14:26:33

I went to university in the States, 'Brigham Young' is colloquially known as 'Bring 'em Young University', such is the reputation it has.

Awful story but my surprising to me, sadly.

Ludways Sat 30-Apr-16 14:28:13

** not surprising to me

MarthaCliffYouCunt Sat 30-Apr-16 14:33:40

A religious institution involved in victim blaming? Surely not?

readingrainbow Sat 30-Apr-16 14:38:41

This attitude toward rape victims isn't confined to this university, though, is it? Victim blaming is rife in uni culture in the stages, though this has the added factor of religion. Horrible. Good for the women speaking out.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 30-Apr-16 16:40:29

I initially thought what would you expect from a university with that "code of honor" and why would you want to go there anyway. But supporting her would be compatible with its code of honor if they applied it to her rapist.

The policeman who leaked the report should be fired and prosecuted for perverting the course of justice/ contempt of court.

MoonriseKingdom Sat 30-Apr-16 18:03:24

I think for a young person growing up in such a religious family it would be very difficult to choose to go to a non religious college your parents might disapprove of. Particularly if you were relying on them for financial support. I have read pretty awful stories of how women are treated at non religious colleges as well - incidents being hushed up by campus police. But this seems particularly horrible. The police officer who leaked her medical and police reports should at the least be sacked.

SenecaFalls Sat 30-Apr-16 23:21:36

This is really a horrific situation for this young woman and for all women at BYU. There are other religion-based universities in the States that have honor codes, but who provide amnesty for reporting rape. That is one approach that BYU could take but has chosen not to.

ThomasRichard Sun 01-May-16 14:39:44

It's disgusting that the police reported it to the university and that BYU were more concerned with disciplining than supporting her. Victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault must feel able to come forward.

CordeliaFrost Sun 01-May-16 16:43:13

Several years ago my cousin's friend (I'll call her Sue) attended a Roman Catholic university in the States, which had (and still has) a 'sexual activity' conduct policy, given the RC position on sex before marriage. Students who are (somehow) found to have broken this policy can be referred to a conduct hearing.

Sue was raped during the second semester of her sophomore year, reported it the same night, and the relevant tests were done. The medical report detailed bruising/marks, which could be consistent with rape. However at the hearing, the conduct body believed her rapist's claim that it was 'consensual rough sex', and he was cleared.

As the medical report had shown that sexual intercourse had taken place, and the fact the conduct body believed the rapist's story about it being consensual sex , Sue was then referred to a conduct hearing for breaking the 'sexual activity' policy. I kid you not.

Sue was found guilty of breaking the sexual activity conduct policy, and was referred for spiritual counselling, banned from student housing for her junior year, and was given a written warning.

Her rapist also had to attend a second hearing for breaking the sexual conduct policy, was found guilty, but his only punishment was being referred for spiritual counselling. They decided not to punish him further, as being 'falsely accused of rape' would apparently have already taught him a valuable lesson.

It appears this particular university has form for handling sexual assault cases badly, as it was featured in The Hunting Ground documentary, and subsequently made changes to its practices.

NB: Sue transferred to a different college to complete her final two years.

MoonriseKingdom Sun 01-May-16 16:59:19

How terrible for your cousin's friend. Were any police charges brought (I realise she might not have felt able to pursue it)? The poor women are twice over victims and these men must feel free to do it again.

CordeliaFrost Sun 01-May-16 17:29:12

Moonrise - I'm not sure how things work there now, but at the time, students were meant to report to the university police and it was handled by the university's conduct board. If after that, the student wasn't happy with the outcome, they could make it a criminal matter.

At the time, Sue opted not to take it further, because she convinced herself that the university's decision would work against her. In her head, she thought no jury would believe her, because they would hear from the defense that her rapist had been 'cleared' by the university.

I know she now regrets not taking it further, but at the time, she was 19-years old and emotionally and mentally broken by how the university system had treated her.

I can fully understand why she felt that way.

MoonriseKingdom Sun 01-May-16 18:20:24

Thanks for the update. In her position I wouldn't have taken it further either. I hope she has found some happiness in her life now.

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