A culture of secrecy surrounds sexual assault investigations performed by U.S. college officials, a Washington reporting group says.
A report by the Center for Public Integrity says that the campus judiciary systems students often turn to when they are sexually assaulted sometimes conduct their hearings in secret and bar victims from attending, The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday.
The Center reported that nearly half of the 33 female students it interviewed about being raped couldn’t persuade authorities to pursue criminal charges, and so had to turn to campus judiciary systems.
There, one-third of the complainants said they encountered school administrators who discouraged them from pursuing their charges, while others said they faced confidentiality requirements “sometimes followed by threats of punishment if they were to disclose any information about the case,” the newspaper reported.
“I’m very disappointed if that’s an accurate report,” Pam Freeman, associate dean of students at Indiana University and director of student ethics and anti-harassment programs, told the Star. “If it is accurate, then there’s a lot of work left to be done.”
She said IU has procedures in place to take victims through the criminal and student justice process.
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