PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Gina Lauterio

Email: info@saveservices.org

New UVA Sex Policy Is ‘Illogical and Hysterical,’ Will Do Nothing to Stop Rape, SAVE Charges

WASHINGTON / April 27, 2015 – The University of Virginia (UVA) has adopted a new Interim Policy on sexual misconduct that dramatically expands the definition of sexual misconduct to include any type of sexual contact. The policy also imposes an “affirmative consent” requirement, warning that “Relying solely on non-verbal communication before or during sexual activity… may result in a violation of this Policy.” SAVE believes the policy will do nothing to deter forcible rape, and is likely to serve to trivialize the problem.

According to the new policy, any intentional touching of intimate body areas, whether clothed or unclothed, must be preceded by specific words or actions indicating consent. Under this definition, a simple hug or close dancing could be construed as sexual assault punishable by expulsion, SAVE notes.

Constitutional scholar Hans Bader has criticized the new UVA policy as “an outrageous violation of students’ privacy rights.” http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/04/09/hugs-are-now-sexual-assault-at-the-university-of-virginia/

SAVE highlights the fact that the new policy likely would not have helped to prevent the recent rape of Hannah Graham. The former UVA student was abducted on September 13, 2014. One month later, human remains believed to have come from her body were found at an rural location.

The murder suspect, Jesse Matthew, had been accused of sexual assault at two separate Virginia colleges he had attended as a student. But a criminal case was not brought against the man in either incident.

“The new UVA policy represents a response to the so-called campus ‘rape-culture’ that is illogical and hysterical,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryl Hutter. “University of Virginia administrators should be working to involve local law enforcement in these cases, not mandating an illusory affirmative consent standard,.”

Relevant excerpts of the UVA policy can be seen in the attachment to this press release. The entire policy can be viewed here: http://vpsa.virginia.edu/sites/vpsa.virginia.edu/files/Title%20IX%20VAWA%20Umbrella%20Policy.pdf

 

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is working to promote effective solutions to campus sexual assault: http://www.saveservices.org/