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Archive for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

KU confident in its sexual assault investigations

July 29, 2014

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Kansas University’s Title IX coordinator says she’s confident her office’s handling of sexual assault complaints will pass muster with a federal probe.

“I think our investigative work is really good,” said Jane McQueeny, executive director of KU’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access. “I am not going to buy that our investigations aren’t thorough and detailed.”

It was reported on Monday that KU has been added to the list of 71 schools the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating. The list reflects schools where at least one student has filed a complaint under Title IX, a provision of a 1972 law against discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs.

Beneath that umbrella, Institutional Opportunity and Access has investigated more than 30 complaints of sexual violence since the office was established two and a half years ago, McQueeny said. In 2012, from May — when McQueeny became the office’s first director — to December, there were 5. In all of 2013, there were 13. In 2014 from January to May, there were 13.

She said that in 2013, those sexual violence investigations accounted for 15 percent of the office’s 85 total complaints, which also include allegations of racial, religious and disability discrimination or harassment.

McQueeny said each sexual violence case can entail some 200 hours of investigation. Though McQueeny’s office collaborates with law enforcement, KU’s investigations are separate from criminal investigations, she said.

Institutional Opportunity and Access investigates complaints and makes disciplinary recommendations to KU’s Office of Student Affairs. The most severe consequence is expelling and banning the perpetrator from campus, McQueeny said.

Prior to joining KU, McQueeny was on the other side of similar federal investigations, working as a supervisory attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

KU’s vice provost for Student Affairs, Tammara Durham, said Monday in a prepared statement that KU’s policies and practices regarding sexual violence follow federal guidelines. In addition to investigating complaints, she said, the university educates students and staff in an attempt to prevent sexual violence and offers resources to help those who are victims of it.

She said KU would provide full assistance as the federal agency conducts its review.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Sexual assault is a very traumatic thing, even if the assailant does not complete the intended act. It is a very serious invasion of a person's personal space, and it is not at all uncommon for the victim to be so upset afterward that calling 911 and asking for help is not possible. I am quite sure that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is quite common among victims of sexual assault, and far too often the police or other public servants are notified too late to obtain a conviction.

This statistic is shocking:
Clipped from:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/19/study-sexual-assaults-greatly-underreported-/3648197/

"The research council, noting that some 80 percent of sexual assaults go unreported to law enforcement, recommends the National Crime Victimization Survey adopt new approaches to interviews, including changing the wording of questions."
-end clip-

It is very important for any victim of a sexual crime to call the police immediately. Do it so that the assailant does not get the idea that he can do this again and again without consequences.

And, it is important to note that not only women and children are victims of sexual assaults. Men can be also, but it is very common for a man to be so embarrassed about the assault that it's not reported.

Not long ago an employee of an apartment complex here in Lawrence knocked on a tenant's door and solicited sex from someone that he did not even know. When the tenant refused his solicitation by not unlocking and opening the door, he became angry and prepared to kick it open.

Sometimes I wonder exactly what he planned to do after kicking open the door.

At the last moment, the manager stopped him. Then came obscenities directed at the manager, claiming that the tenant not only wanted to have sex with him, but also wanted him to perform very violent sex acts on the tenant. I know what he said, but it is far too obscene to repeat here.

His employment was not even terminated. He kept on working at the apartment complex, just as though nothing had happened.

Apparently that was just fine with the management.

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