NEWS ARTICLE: “At colleges nationwide, student victims are encouraged to report sexual assaults to schools’ Title IX officers, charged with enforcing a federal law that guarantees students don’t face hostility on campus based on their gender. But at BYU, according to multiple students, Title IX staff routinely alert the Honor Code Office. Students say Honor Code involvement means a victim who reports an assault faces possible punishment if she or he was breaking curfew, violating the dress code, using drugs or alcohol or engaging in consensual sexual contact — all banned by the code of conduct — before an attack.” –Erin Alberty, Jessica Miller, and Rachel Piper, BYU students say victims of sexual assault are targeted by Honor Code, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 April 2016. [source]
COMMENTARY: If your goal is to have the lowest reported sexual assault statistics in the country, I don’t know if it’s possible to have a better policy than this. If, however, your goal is to lower the actual incidents of sexual assault, I don’t know if it’s possible to have a worse policy than this. If victims of sexual assault are afraid to report crimes for fear of being punished, perpetrators will remain free to attack again and potential perpetrators will be emboldened. It’s time for BYU to take a stand that validates and supports survivors of sexual assault rather than one that harasses and criminalizes them. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.