Contact: Gina Lauterio
SAVE Applauds Penn Law Professors for Principled Civil Rights Stance
WASHINGTON / February 20, 2015 – SAVE, a national sexual assault organization, is highlighting the courageous action of 16 University of Pennsylvania law professors for protesting a new campus sexual assault policy. The Open Letter charges the new university policy lacks “fundamental fairness” in avoiding wrongful decisions of wrongful conduct: http://media.philly.com/documents/OpenLetter.pdf
The faculty letter denounces the university’s policy for concentrating power to investigate claims of sexual assault in the hands of an Investigating Officer, turning the campus disciplinary hearing into little more than a rubber-stamp exercise.
The letter also reveals the perverse pressures being brought to bear by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. “The threat of loss of federal funding risks coloring the proceedings,” the law professors wrote.
An ever-growing number of successful lawsuits brought by expelled students against their former universities points to a worrisome problem of false allegations of sexual assault, SAVE notes. One study reported 41% of campus rape claims were found to be false: http://sf-criminaldefense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/KaninFalseRapeAllegations.pdf
“The recent UVA-Rolling Stone debacle has been a tragic setback for rape victims,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Rape victims should never have to worry that they won’t be believed, and universities must begin to address the problem of false allegations by restoring due process protections.”
Last October, faculty members of the Harvard Law School issued a statement similarly criticizing the university’s new Sexual Harassment Policy: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/10/14/rethink-harvard-sexual-harassment-policy/HFDDiZN7nU2UwuUuWMnqbM/story.html
On March 13 at 10am, SAVE will hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on “Campus Sexual Assault: Assuring Justice for Victims and the Accused.” Persons wishing to attend should RSVP here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is working to promote effective solutions to campus sexual assault: http://www.saveservices.org/