Complaint Charges University of North Carolina Violated Rights of Sexual Assault Victims

unc-chFive women have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education claiming that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the rights of sexual assault victims and created a hostile environment for students who reported sexual assaults. The complaint was filed by two current students, two former students, and Melinda Messing, the former assistant dean of students who stepped down from her post this past December.

The 34-page complaint alleges that the university inadequately prepared members of the university community who were responsible for disciplinary actions involving sexual assault, did not treat victims or sexual assault fairly, and failed to keep victims informed and protected on campus.

One former student told the student newspaper at the university, “When I went to report my assault in 2007, I asked an administrator what the process would look like. That person told me, ‘Rape is like a football game. If you look back on the game, and you’re the quarterback and you’re in charge, is there anything that you would have done differently in that situation?’”

In a statement, Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls said, “We do take the issue of sexual assault seriously and have worked hard to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct with a process that is fair, effective and provides appropriate support and due process to both the accuser and the accused.”

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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